Haiti is back on the plantation: UN claims to be above the law, denies responsibility for cholera deaths in Haiti
Human rights attorney Ezili Dantò of Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) discusses on Black Agenda Report with Glen Ford theUS occupation forces claiming absolute immunity for bringing cholera deaths and water poisoning to Haiti, February 22, 2013, (Download – UN denies liability for bringing cholera to Haiti.)
End the killing and illegal US occupation of Haiti behind UN coalition guns
HLLN has never subscribed to the callous and profiting-on-misery notion of letting the UN independently investigate itself while Haiti’s people die unmercifully.
On February 21, 2013, the United Nations officially rejected legal responsibility for damage claims to Haiti cholera victims. Martin Nesirky, Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, stated:
“Consideration of the claims would necessarily involve a review of political and policy matters. Accordingly, the claims are not receivable, pursuant to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, which was adopted by the General Assembly on 13 February 1946.”
It is established national and international law that tort claims or disputes of a private law character are excepted from the absolute immunity privileges afforded to governments and state officials. That is to also say, it is established national and international law that personal injuries accidentally occurring that are outside of an authorized governmental function are generally subject to tort laws. But, with this announcement, the UN and thus its employer, the US, has made legal history with “the Haiti exception” to international and national established laws. Basically saying it is legal to kill 8,000 and infect over 647,000 Haitians. That Haitians have no recourse to legal redress as a matter of UN and thus US “politics and policy?!” With this decision, the US, veiled within a UN-coalition cloak, is directly saying that Haitians have no individual rights under the law. No private law rights. We live at the discretion of UN and thus US politics and policy.
There you go folks. They’ve come right out and actually told us the truth of the matter and very clearly. What else is there to know? HLLN has been saying the UN is killing Haitians for the coup detat powers and the ruling international community as a matter of policy and politics in Haiti since 2004, no? (See, also, Aljazeera Video – Haiti: Victimising the victims?; UN Capitalizing on Cholera: playing arsonists and firemen ; U.N. Says it Will Not Pay Compensation for Haiti’s Cholera Victims.)
A UN document prepared by their Office of Legal Affairs,readily available on the UN website helps us to decode this UN announcement. It explains the relevant provision of theConvention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and is for perusal by everyone. It provides:
“The de facto “absolute” immunity of the United Nations is mitigated by the fact that article VIII, section 29, of the Convention requires the United Nations to “make provisions for appropriate modes of settlement of: (a) disputes arising out of contracts or other disputes of a private law character to which the United Nations is a party”. The General Convention’s obligation to provide for alternative dispute settlement in case of the Organization’s immunity from legal process can be regarded as an acknowledgment of the right of access to court as contained in all major human rights instruments.”
|The accused UN cannot investigate itself” – Ezili Dantò, Oct 30, 2010 interview with Yves Point Du JourHaiti elections and Cholera interview with Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Oct. 22, 2010, Gorilla Radio.
It is an exercise in futility to go to the perpetrators and executioners of human rights crimes in Haiti in hopes of getting justice for our people.”Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Foreign violence against Haiti is the normand Haiti: Jan 1, 2013: Another Independence Day Under Occupation
The UN representative, Martin Nesirky, said that the claim for damages for bringing cholera to Haiti is “not receivable” because they concern “a review of political and policy matters“. What this says outright is that it’s “policy” to poison Haitians, kill them and then provide no due process, no legal redress, no right of access to court, no obligation of the UN (and thus in reality its boss, the US) to make provisions for appropriate modes of settlement. If you didn’t know Haitians were under attack and at war for their very lives, you should be clear on this now. The UN said it. Its legal to kill 8000 Haitians with impunity.
At Ezili’s HLLN we don’t have the luxury of the grand denials others not in need of immediate injunctive relief canroll in. And, as the UN has rejected or been non-responsive to virtually every human right violation claims made by Haitians since the US occupation began in 2004, we at HLLN also had no past UN behavior that provided a logical basis to expect a different answer from the UN other than the one it announced.
HLLN advocates the strategic use of the cholera case (and all the other symptoms rooted in the occupation) to expose and help take down the US occupation in Haiti, free the world from UN cloaking of imperialism
HLLN does not advocate relying on the oppressors to give Haiti back its stolen liberty. But, in addition to urging Haitians in the diaspora to help provide Haiti with clean water, renewable power and sanitation, demanding an end to the cholera killings, we do advocate the strategic use of the cholera case to take down the US occupation; help the cause of world freedom by exposing and stopping the US use of UN missions to cloak its colonizing and genocidal rampages across the world. It’s just been announced, for instance, that the UN (and thus in reality, the US/Euro superpowers) will use drone warfare in the Congo against the “rebels?”. (The Security Council has approved the use of surveillance drones over Eastern Congo; UN to expand the largest peacekeeping mission: Existing DR Congo peace mission to be enhanced with addition of at least 2,000 ‘intervention’ troops and use of drone aircraft.)
Someone asked today how does HLLN respond to the denial of the Brian Concannon/IDJH administrative letter of demand to the UN after 15-months of UN deliberations? I referred them to the interview herein posted I did with Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report that addresses the expected and continual UN denial of accountability in Haiti, quoted some excepts from our non-colonial complaint against the US/UN occupiers for importing cholera to Haiti, reminded everyone of our different strategy as a Haiti-led, Haiti-capacity building Network to use this case, not because we expect justice from our oppressors, but to help lift the UN cloak on US imperialism, suggested folks listen to the Haiti position as we expressed it on the Yves Point Du Jour show the week the cholera epidemic was imported to Haiti, at the Haiti elections and Cholera interview on Oct. 22, 2010 for Gorilla Radio and also said this:
“The US and thus for now the Obama administration runs the UN. How does the US fare in keeping Blacks healthy in the US, in Africa…why would anyone think the UN acting for the US would care how many Blacks their imported disease killed? They own the law, military, media, banks, why not our human rights?”
Below are excerpt 1 and 2 from the un-edited HLLN non-colonial narrative complaint written not long after the cholera importation. I think the announcement of the UN claiming absolute immunity, saying it will not compensation for Haiti’s cholera victims, is a good time as any to begin publishing the Haiti non-colonial legal narrative of this issue.
Try as we may no deep pocket law firm or Hollywood celebrity is willing to help fund the
non-colonial Haiti narrative on the US occupational forces illegal occupation in Haiti and the deadly fruits of their rotten presence unlawfully authorized by Gerald Latortue/UN Status of Force Agreement(SOFA) in 2004.
HLLN has not found a courageous law firm, with staff and resources, to help Haitians like us take on the class action suit categories harmed by the US occupation forces in Haiti. No one yet willing to break with precedent, set new legal precedent and work outside the orbit of the usual suspects taking on every Haiti human rights case, raising celebrity monies and losing each and every one with a whimper. It is as it should be: no white savior stakeholder in the capitalist system will put game changing resources behind a Haitian who is not working FOR them. So, HLLN publishes parts of our complaint that one day, if not in this generation than the next, Haiti shall one day use to bring the US and its employee, the UN, before independent courts of law.
The UN justifies its presence in Haiti through a Status of forces agreement (SOFA) agreement supposedly signed for Haiti by former UN employee, Gerald Latortue, and presumably ratified under the reign of the puppet Haitians governments elected to power since 2004 by the Washington coup d’etat forces and their international cohorts.
HLLN address this illegality in our complaint against the US for bringing in the UN to uphold instability and against the UN for unleashing cholera, thus:
from HLLN complaint against the US/Obama occupational forces for bringing UN cholera to Haiti. (c) 2013 Ezili Dantò, All rights reserved
– Excerpt from HLLN complaint against the US occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti
|The indignity of the illness is almost, if not more horrible, than the physical pain. See our Haiti photos at the epicenter of the cholera outbreak in Mirebalais, one year later: UN Imported Cholera in Mirebalais: The hard reality of ill and discombobulated adults reduced to infancy.USAID ordered 200,000 body bags at the beginning of the outbreak, spending more monies with US firms providing these death bags than in providing purified clean drinking water or guaranteeing the UN troops disease carriers.|
“Article 5, Par. 23 of the SOFA provides that “MINUSTAH and the Government shall cooperate with respect to sanitary services and shall extend to each other the fullest cooperation in matters concerning health, particularly in respect to the control of communicable diseases in accordance with international conventions.”
“The purpose of immunity is so that diplomats are not harassed…however this does not mean that there should be more privileges and immunities abandoned because they serve certain purposes for the UN.” Immunity does not mean impunity. Liability to Haitians for cholera is not “harassment,” it would be UN accountability.
Moreover, it ought to be noted by the Court that the SOFA broad immunity given to UN was:
A) Signed by a transitional defacto Haiti government, supported by the US/UN and unelected by the Haiti masses. Haiti’s duly elected Prime Minster, Yvon Neptune, was put in jail for years while the defacto Prime Minister signed the SOFA.
Gerald Latortue, a resident of Boca Raton Florida was the UN/US supported, defacto Prime Minister, unconstitutionally installed after the departure of President Aristide following the 2004 US-backed-coup/kidnapping. Gerald Latortue who signed SOFA legitimizing the UN occupation of Haiti was a former career UN employee and unelected by the Haiti masses.
The US (and, to a lesser extent France and Canada) played a critical role in financing the counter-revolutionary Haiti opposition that destabilized Aristide’s second tenure in office. It was a US rendition plane, along with US Special Forces, that escorted – deported – Haiti’s duly elected President Aristide to the Central Africa Republic on February 29, 2004. The US’s own State Department translator verified that the democratically elected Haiti president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, did not voluntarily resigned.
Instead of coming in to restore the democratically elected President and duly appointed Prime Minister, the UN/MINUSTAH mission, which took over from the US-commanded multi-national force that came into Haiti per UN Resolution 1329 after February 29, 2004, has been a partisan force to solidify the rule of the Haiti oligarchy, private investor interests not Haiti’s masses and to return the Duvalierists back to power through the facade of democratic elections.
Since then, under the UN and US occupation of Haiti, Haiti’s largest political party, the Lavalas party of President Aristide, has been forbidden to participate in elections.
B) The SOFA’s Article 105 Convention immunity clause, giving the MINUSTAH troops absolute immunity, is tempered by the provisions at article 54 and 55 of SOFA which requires that immunity for third party personal injury claims against UN soldiers are subject to there being an adequate dispute resolution mechanism.
SOFA’s individual claims procedure for third party personal injury claims that falls outside of operational necessity, is inadequate thus operates as a waiver of UN immunity. Or, at least requires UN to exercise its duty to waive in order to avoid injustice to Haitians and not impede the course of justice…”
I. NATURE OF HLLN ACTION
1. The majority of Haiti’s population of ten million lack access to sanitary infrastructure and clean water. In late October 2010 the United Nations (“UN”) Nepalese contingent from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (“MINUSTAH”) brought cholera to Haiti, a novel, virulent strain previously unknown in the Western Hemisphere. Before the arrival of the UN soldiers, Haiti had not had a single case of cholera in a century, if ever. Haitian had no antibodies to act as immune defense against the UN-imported lethal biogerm. The UN was well aware of Haiti’s lack of sanitary infrastructure and higher needs for clean water, yet failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base. The UN had a greater responsibility not to negligently nor recklessly add to the public health challenges of a country they were sent to protect. The UN’s complete lack of care is impunity that the laws granting immunity do not support. The UN had a greater responsibility not to negligently nor recklessly poison the people with a vicious foreign germ effectively acting, given the unique public health circumstances in Haiti, as a weapon of mass destruction – in two years killing over 8,000 Haitians and infecting over 647,000 of the population with 200 new people infected each day.
2. The UN organization had a greater responsibility – given they are the guardians and arbiters of human rights norms, standards and guidelines in the world, given their mission in Haiti as well as their documented knowledge of Haiti’s health challenges, to be more accountable and vigilant to the population they were sent to protect. The UN is in violation of the explicit purposes of the Charter of the United Nations promoting and encouraging respect for human rights.
3. As evidenced through the international sanitary rules and conventions incorporated within the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) agreement between Haiti and the UN, it is clear that contemporary law of nations has expanded to prohibit a tort such as the reckless transmission of a contagious disease and cover-up of the outbreaks source. Multilateral treaties, customary international law as well as domestic prohibitions on transmission of anthrax, HIV, syphilis, cholera and other highly contagious diseases evidence specific, universal, obligatory prohibition of official transmission of infectious diseases.
4. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), conventions and agreements, including, inter alia, the International Health Regulation 2005, nearly all the world’s nations have banned together to ensure the containment and global eradication of infectious diseases. Containing contagious disease is a definable, universal and obligatory norm for the UN member nations. UN peacekeepers and missions are fundamentally accountable to the global, multilateral consensus and efforts of UN member nations to participate in globally containing and eradicating the spread of contagious diseases. The UN is not a super state with powers and immunities that exceeds the powers of those it represents. The commitment to contain communicable diseases and hold those responsible for their spread applies to the UN mission in Haiti.” – (Excerpt from HLLN’s 100page complaint against the US occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti (c) 2013 Ezili Dantò, All rights reserved.)
from HLLN complaint against the US/Obama occupational forces for bringing UN cholera to Haiti. (c) 2013 Ezili Dantò, All rights reserved
HAITIANS HAVE A RIGHT TO LIFE, HEALTH, LEGAL REDRESS, ACCESS TO COURTS AND A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL HEARING
“It is a principle of International Law that any violation of an international obligation that has caused damages triggers the duty to make adequate amends.” — Inter-American Court of Human Rights, (Case of the Miguel Castro Prison, Merits, Reparations, and Cost, Judgment, Int-Am. Ct. Hum Rts. (ser. C) No. 160, par. 335 (Nov. 25, 2006)
Haiti plaintiffs are entitled to legal redress and remedy. UN provisions under the SOFA agreement allowing UN absolute discretion to certify or not certify whether Plaintiffs has a legitimate personal injury claim in light of the aforementioned political bias of UN, is not sufficient at law. Plaintiffs require immediate relief to stop cholera from becoming endemic in Haiti and causing further injuries and deaths. The UN has a duty to take corrective measures. Injunctive relief to Plaintiff that orders UN to immediately prevent the further spread of its contaminable disease onto a poor and vulnerable peoples denied the basic right to life, health and non-UN contaminated Haiti water, which UN has gotten away with imposing on Plaintiff for over a year now, is urgently need to prevent further irreparable harm. Plaintiffs are not disposable people who may be so negligently degraded, grossly devalued, utterly betrayed without legal consequence.
The Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C. Â§ 1350)
The Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) is a section of the United States Code that reads: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” This statute is notable for allowing United States courts to hear human rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct committed outside the United States.
— Excerpt from HLLN’s 100page complaint against the US occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti
“UN IS AN OCCUPATION, NOT A NEUTRAL FORCE in Haiti
1. There’s more violence in the U.S. colonies of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands than there is in Haiti. The UN’s 2011 Global Study on Homicide show Haiti’s violence rate is only marginally higher than that of the United States. There’s more violence in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, indeed in most of the Caribbean and the Americas than there is in Haiti. Brazil, whose forces command the UN mission in Haiti has more violence in their own country than there is in Haiti. There is more acute violence in Washington, D.C. and in other parts of the United States then there is in the country of Haiti. Yet, there are no UN peacekeeping missions in these countries where there’s more violence than there is in Haiti. Even if there was a plausible disturbance of the peace in 2004, it was orchestrated by the member states and their Non Governmental Organizations benefiting from the current US occupation in Haiti behind the UN guns. And, since 2006 there’s purportedly been a duly elected government so UN denial of Haiti sovereignty is absolutely unwarranted.
2. The UN presence in Haiti in 2004 was not warranted in accordance with international law. There was no peace agreement to enforce. US/international interests in installing a puppet Haiti government more interested in pursuing US/international corporate, commercial and Haiti oligarchy interests at the expense of the public safety, security, welfare and health of the majority of Haitians is illegal under international and national laws, does not merit a UN Chapter VII intervention.
3. MINUSTAH’s presence in Haiti is a violation of the UN Charter, the American Convention on Human Rights, national laws, international laws, Plaintiffs human rights, dignity, right to self-determination…
4. Neither the Security Council at the UN nor the US/Euro superpowers nor Canada have the authority or can vest in the UN the authority to deploy armed forces on sovereign territory when the conflict is manufactured by other member states (US/Canada/France) to serve as a pretext for their landing to restore order. The UN Charter states that “the organization is based upon the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members” and that the United Nations shall not “intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” In 2004, the UN Security Council had a fiduciary responsibility to assist the democratically elected, Constitutional Aristide/Neptune government in Haiti to stop the tiny US-supported and financed military aggressors invading from the Dominican Republic, a US client state. Instead, the UN sanctioned the US imperial aggression against defenseless Haiti with UN Resolution 1329 approving the US commanded multi-national force that invaded Haiti beginning February 29, 2004, later legitimizing the US-led action to restore the Duvalierist factions to power with the UN’s MINUSTAH mission responsible for bringing and spreading cholera in October 2010 to the Western Hemisphere. UN/MINUSTAH effectively provided cover for the tiny right wing local Oligarchs and Duvalierists to neutralize the supporters of Haiti’s fledgling efforts to establish participatory democracy.
5. Since 2004, MINUSTAH has used UN military authority, moral weight, force and power to take the side of the foreign-orchestrated and funded Haiti Insurgents returning the Duvalierists and morally repugnant Haiti oligarchy to power, disenfranchising nearly ten million Haitians in violation of the rule of law, the UN charter, American Convention on Human Rights, Haiti constitution and international treaties and conventions.
A Chapter VII mission under these circumstances is an act of war against a nation without an army by the world body charged and authorized with the powers to intervene against the threat to the peace, breach of the peace or acts of aggression against a sovereign state…” — Excerpt from HLLN’s 100page complaint against the US occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti (c) 2013 Ezili Dantò, All rights reserved.
Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Support Dantò’s work
“Like” Ezili Dantò public page on Facebook and Follow Ezili Dantò @Ezilidanto on Twitter. Check below and on this website for more excerpts to come from HLLN’s 100+page complaint against the US occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti and generally on the subject of the UN casually exonerating itself with absolute immunity although their SOFA, on its face, provides exceptions to their diplomatic immunity. — HLLN
MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION
on the illegality of the US occupation of Haiti. Its responsibility for employing UN forces that brought in cholera deaths.
– The Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C.Â§1350) is a section of the United States Code that reads: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” This statute is notable for allowing U.S. courts to hear human-rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct committed outside the United States.
“On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly agreed to a resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.” The resolution, presented by the Bolivian government, had 122 countries vote in its favor, while 41 countries – abstained.”
“An estimated $9 billion of public and private funding has been spent on disaster recovery in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Of that, $2.25 billion in public funding has been disbursed by the United States alone. But despite the large amount of public money involved, it is nearly impossible to track how it has been spent and what has been achieved. ” —US Spending in Haiti: The Need for Greater Transparency and Accountability , Feb. 19, 2013;Foreign violence against Haiti is the norm and Haiti: Jan 1, 2013: Another Independence Day Under Occupation.
Featured HLLN links on Cholera:
Haiti: Ezili Dantò on Wash Post Cholera editorial
Washington Justice For Haiti
The accused UN cannot investigate itself” – Ezili Dantò, Oct 30, 2010 interview with Yves Point Du Jour
Haiti elections and Cholera interview with Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Oct. 22, 2010, Gorilla Radio.
Ezili’s HLLN denounces massacres of Haiti Vodouist, holds UN responsible
Haiti Message on UN responsibility for importing cholera – Demand a stop to the denials http://bit.ly/jjqWlj )
“The UN plays the role of both arsonist and fireman in Haiti’s cholera epidemic. UN announces a rehashed 10-year plan for clean water that is unfunded. Kristof’s white savior bridge characters, filled with conflicts of interests, declare cautious success. They help throttle justice for Haitians, put bandages on plunder, help prolong Black and indigenous world suffering. UN plans for Haiti are not solutions. The UN is the problem.” — Ezili Dantò at UN Capitalizing on Cholera: playing arsonists and firemen http://bit.ly/12EQiU7
“Washington Justice For Haiti:
In support of Paul Farmer’s pharmaceuticals and the Farmer groups – Brian Concannon/IDJH – asking the UN to judge itself guilty on behalf of Haiti cholera victims, Washington Post opines, justice for the Haiti cholera victims would be collectively awarding $40million to Paul Farmer pharmaceuticals for cholera vaccines http://bit.ly/Kp57D8
HLLN analysis of Times” cholera article
Haiti Message on UN responsibility for importing cholera
Demand a stop to the denials.
The UN is accountable for not controlling its own troops” hygiene, for importing a communicable disease, for not controlling that communicable disease, for the damage done, the lives lost, the Haiti farmers and Artibonite breadbasket that’s been contaminated. The UN’s failure to properly dispose of its human fecal waste, is not a “state action” subject to state immunity. It’s a personal injury inflicted upon a vulnerable people the UN says its mandated to protect. The UN is paying itself almost $1 billion ($860million) dollars per year for said “protection.” The UN is not above the law, immune for violating international sanitary standards, nor for failing to control the spread of its own disease.
In a nutshell, the UN imported the deadly cholera disease to Haiti, but blames the fatal injury on the victim’s pre-existing conditions. (Blaming their injustice on their defenseless victims is not new for the UN forces in Haiti.) ”Ezili Dantò of HLLN http://bit.ly/jjqWlj
UN Calls Haiti Cholera Claim “Not Receivable,” O’Brien & Ban Leaving Town
By Matthew Russell Lee, Source: Inner City Press
UNITED NATIONS, February 21 – More than a year after a complaint about introducing cholera into Haiti was filed with the UN (video here), on Thursday afternoon Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky announced that the claim was “not receivable.”
Inner City Press asked him to explain what the phrase meant, immunity or impunity, and why it had taken the UN so long. February 21 video here, from Minute 10.
Nesirky first declined to explain, saying it is not the UN’s practice to discuss in public the details of claims filed. Then he cited the “privileges and immunities” resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on February 13, 1946.
He said that since considering the claims would involve reviewing “political and policy matters,” the claim was not receivable.
Why take more than a year then, Inner City Press asked. Nesirky explained that the UN had engaged in “serious consideration” for the time necessary of the claims in all their aspects.
Repeatedly since the claim was filed, Inner City Press asked for the status or for Ban Ki-moon’s top lawyer Patricia O’Brien to answer questions. The new Free UN Coalition for Access also made this request, that O’Brien as an Under Secretary General hold a press conference. It never happened.
Now Patricia O’Brien is about to leave the UN, to go represent Ireland at the UN in Geneva. To skeptics it appears that the UN waited until now, to get the disturbing decision out of the way before a new UN top lawyer comes in. They note that Ban Ki-moon is about to leave New York on a trip.
But how can the UN preach “rule of law” while holding itself exempt? How can it even try to avoid explaining how it exonerated itself? Who will hold this UN to account? Watch this site.
Footnote: Inner City Press has also asked the head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous what safeguards if any he’s implemented to avoid spreading cholera elsewhere.
Ladsous refused to answer, then after FUNCA protested, on February 6 purported to answer Inner City Press on cholera – with no reference to safeguards. This continued, this week, in the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping. UNlawful…
From the February 21, 2013 UN noon briefing transcript:
Inner City Press: I want to ask you a question about the Haiti announcement you made, when you say it is not receivable, what is the legal argument? Was a Standing Claims Commission, as required by the status-of-forces agreement, established? It makes it sound like it is a legal determination, but is there going to be some kind of a memo? What’s the basis? What took so long, and “not receivable” in what way? It was received. Is it basically a claim of immunity by the UN? Can you say more about what this “not receivable” means?
Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, I am not in a position to provide you with any details. It’s not the United Nations practice to discuss in public the details of and the response to claims filed against the Organization. Let me also say I can confirm that we have informed counsel for the claimants that the claims are not receivable. Consideration of the claims would necessarily involve a review of political and policy matters. Accordingly, the claims are not receivable, pursuant to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, which was adopted by the General Assembly on 13 February 1946. Just to answer your question about the time taken: we gave serious consideration to the matter, and took the time necessary to properly review the various claims raised in all their aspects.