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Immunity Is Not Impunity

The Legal Framework Applicable to UN Accountability for the Haiti Cholera Crisis

In: Journal of International Peacekeeping
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  • 1 Founder and Director · Mak Law International · Strategic Consulting Service, mak@maklaw.org
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Abstract

The Chapter seeks to dispel the myth that the immunity of the United Nations amounts to impunity. Accountability is, in fact, required by the applicable law and established policy and practice of the Organization. Immunity and accountability are two co-equal pillars of the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Status of Forces Agreement. While the UN does enjoy immunity from legal process, it is obliged to provide appropriate modes of settlement of private law disputes to which it is a party. In the case of Cholera in Haiti, the UN Secretariat, the other UN principal organs and UN Member States all failed to ensure respect for the obligations of the United Nations. If even one of them had fulfilled its role properly, then justice could have been done. Thus far, with the notable exception of the human rights special rapporteurs, all have failed to do so.

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