6 January 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Deeply Concerned from Outset by Cholera Outbreak in Haiti, Secretary-General

Appoints Independent Expert Panel


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the appointment of the independent panel of experts on the cholera outbreak in Haiti:

The Secretary-General has been deeply concerned by the cholera outbreak in Haiti since the first cases were detected.  Determining the source of the cholera outbreak is important for both the United Nations and the people of Haiti.  On 17 December 2010, the Secretary-General had announced his intention to appoint an independent panel of experts to seek to determine the source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.  Since the initial announcement, the Secretary-General has been working with partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to identify leading technical experts in public health, epidemiology, microbiology and water and sanitation to serve on the panel. 

The panel will seek to determine the source of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti.  They will review all of the information and data available to date and travel to Haiti to conduct investigations on the ground.  The panel will operate completely independently from the United Nations and will have access to all United Nations records, reports, facilities, and staff members as required.  It will present a written report of its findings to the Secretary-General and to the Government of Haiti.

The panel will be chaired by Dr. Alejandro Cravioto (Mexico) of the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).  The other three members are Dr. Claudio Lanata ( Peru) of the Instituto de Investigacion Nutritional (IIN) in Peru, Dr. Daniele Lantagne (United States) of Harvard University in the United States, and Dr. Balakrish Nair ( India) of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in India.

The members of the panel have been selected based on their global stature, expertise and extensive experience working with cholera in all its aspects.  The Secretary-General thanks each member of the panel for accepting to be part of this very important undertaking.

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For information media • not an official record