01 Feb Time for Richard Falk to Resign as U.N. Special Rapporteur?
Richard Falk, professor of international law at Princeton and U.N. Special Rapporteur for the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories, is rejecting calls for him to resign from his U.N. position due to alleged comments he made about a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
NEW YORK – Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, “flatly denied” recent allegations by Geneva- based NGO UN Watch that “he had endorsed the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the US government and not by al-Qaida terrorists.”
UN Watch called for Falk to resign last week, citing Falk’s personal blog posts. In response, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office condemned Falk. In a letter to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the secretary-general’s spokesman Vijay Nambiar wrote that Falk’s remarks were “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.”
Falk denies that he was endorsing a 9/11 “Truther” theory. He at least was sympathetic to it, though. Based on what I can tell, Falk was not making a full-blown endorsement of a 9/11 conspiracy theory, although he seems oddly open to it. In any event, I have never thought Falk was particularly well-qualified to be a U.N. rapporteur, both his background and political preferences make him a relentlessly one-sided advocate rather than an objective investigator. But then again, are special rapporteurs supposed to be objective?
Even the U.S. has had enough with Falk. From Amb. Susan Rice:
Mr. Falk endorses the slurs of conspiracy theorists who allege that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were perpetrated and then covered up by the U.S. government and media.
Mr. Falk’s comments are despicable and deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms. I have registered a strong protest with the UN on behalf of the United States. The United States has in the past been critical of Mr. Falk’s one-sided and politicized approach to his work for the UN, including his failure to condemn deliberate human rights abuses by Hamas, but these blog comments are in another category altogether.