WHEN UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invoked diplomatic immunity last week for peacekeepers who unwittingly caused the cholera outbreak that killed nearly 8,000 Haitians, his decision looked cold-hearted. Many in Haiti and in the humanitarian community are indignant that the United Nations will face no consequences for failing to properly test soldiers from Nepal who assisted in earthquake relief efforts in 2010. The incident seems like a sign of arrogance and ineptitude on the UN’s part.
But sympathy for Haitians should not mask the necessity of the secretary-general’s decision. It was right as a legal matter — and as a moral one, too.