Voice

Yale Study Slams UN for Haiti Cholera Response

The Yale Law School and School of Public Health have produced a hard-hitting report on the United Nations' response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The study argues that the scientific evidence of the UN's responsibility is now beyond doubt:

Scientific study of the origins of the cholera epidemic in Haiti overwhelmingly demonstrates that U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal introduced the disease into the country. No cases of active transmission of cholera had been reported in Haiti for at least a century prior to October 2010. The foci of the epidemic encompasses the location of the MINUSTAH base in Méyè. The peacekeeping troops stationed at the MINUSTAH camp in Méyè at the time of the outbreak were deployed from Nepal, where cholera is endemic and an outbreak occurred just prior to their departure, increasing their likelihood of exposure and transmission.

With UN responsibility established, the report's authors insist that the organization respond directly to victims:

The U.N. will need to accept responsibility for its failures in Haiti, apologize to the victims of the epidemic, vindicate the legal rights of the victims, end the ongoing epidemic, and take steps to ensure that it will never again cause such tragically avoidable harm, in Haiti or elsewhere.

You can read the whole report here.

The Multilateralist

China Cautions ASEAN to Go Slow on South China Sea

For the last week, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has been on a diplomatic tour through several southeast Asian nations. One key theme during the trip has been the status of a long-awaited "code of conduct" between the ASEAN states and China regarding the South China Sea. In 2002, the ASEAN states and China declared their intent to negotiate a code of conduct, but the process has sputtered since then. According to this account, Wang doesn't think ASEAN should be holding its collective breath:

Wang Yi , who wraps up a six-day visit to four South East Asian countries today, said Beijing was open to dialogue on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (CoC), but warned that patience would be needed.

"Some countries are looking for a quick fix [to the disputes] and are hoping to thrash out a code in a day; this approach is neither realistic nor serious," Xinhua quoted Wang as saying yesterday.

The CoC involved multiple national interests and as such required a "delicate and complex" negotiating process, Wang added.

Analysts say Wang was referring to the Philippines's recent bid to take the maritime row to the United Nations in hope of solving it promptly.

The South China Morning Post notes here that Wang decided not to include the Philippines in his itinerary.