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Haitian president writes letter of thanks to PM Gonsalves for support at UN General Assembly

Haitian president writes letter of thanks to PM Gonsalves for support at UN General Assembly


Haitian President, Michel Joseph Martelly says the name of Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves will remain engraved in the collective memory of the people of Haiti.{{more}}

President Martelly’s statement was made in a letter of thanks to Gonsalves for his address at the 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

During the September 27, 2013 speech, Gonsalves blamed the UN for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti.

“In 2010, negligent, or even reckless, UN peacekeepers contaminated a Haitian drinking water supply, which led to an outbreak of cholera that killed 8,000 innocent Haitians and infected 600,000 others.” Gonsalves said at the Assembly, in New York.

He said prior to the UN’s negligence, Haiti had not seen a single case of cholera in 150 years.

“Today, there are more cholera-infected persons in Haiti than there are in the rest of the world,” Gonsalves told the Assembly.

“I continue to be deeply disturbed by the UN’s callous disregard of the suffering it has wrought in a fellow CARICOM country, and by the shameful, legalistic, avoidance of what is a clear moral responsibility on the part of the UN.

“Accordingly, I call on Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to acknowledge unambiguously, and apologise for, this organisation’s role in the tragedy, and to take immediate steps to compensate the victims and their families. Anything less will further undermine the moral authority and credibility of this institution,” Gonsalves stated in his speech.

“A speech as powerful as yours, heard at the United Nations, emphasizes the scientifically proven responsibility of the UN forces in the inoculation of our population with cholera, confirms that we are not alone, isolated, on an island and that the consideration of men of culture, courage and dignity, will never desert us in our misfortunes,” Martelly said in the letter dated October 1.

“The weakness of our means of communication which, unfortunately, is one of our constant deficiencies within the community, obliges us sometimes to receive apparently, the injustices inflicted upon us. But we do not guard our dignity unless our ability to judge people and events, presents the moment to respond as it should.”

Martelly also noted that Haitians are further encouraged to preserve and maintain hope, head high, from each of the hardships that they endure when figures such as PM Gonsalves emerge to stand at their sides.

“Your recent intervention from the pinnacle of this world forum is situated in the line of Frederick Douglas, all great thinkers and humanists who are spontaneously declared defenders of the Haitian cause,” the letter said.