Secretary General Ban Kimoon this week publicly slammed statements by UN special investigator Richard Falk, who in a recent blog posting questioned whether the 9/11 terror attacks were orchestrated by the US government.
Ban’s speech came the day after his office responded to a complaint lodged by UN Watch against Falk on this matter. In that letter, Ban’s office said Falk’s comments were “preposterous.”
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“Recently, a special rapporteur suggested there was an apparent cover-up in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States,” Ban said, during a public address before the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“I want to tell you, clearly and directly. I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric. It is preposterous – an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic attack,” he said.
Although he did not name Falk, he specifically mentioned comments that the investigator had made.
Since 2008, Falk has acted as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
Tuesday, in Geneva, Ban noted that special rapporteurs are appointed by
the Human Rights Council and not by the secretary-general and that only
the council could decide whether they could continue in their job.
this, there is a delicate balance. We cannot, and should not, limit
their independence. Yet we cannot condone irresponsible behavior that
undermines the Human Rights Council and the United Nations,” he said.
He chastised the council for targeting some countries in favor of others. He did not specify which countries he was referencing.
council, however, has been criticized for focusing on Israel to the
exclusion of other issues. According to UN Watch, the council’s
five-year history, it has issued 50 condemnations against individual
countries, out of which 35 were leveled against Israel.
the council, “Let us be frank. This body has come under criticism from
various quarters. For this Human Rights Council to fulfill its mandate,
it must be seen as impartial and fair.
“It cannot be seen as a
place ruled by bias or special interests. It cannot be a place that
targets some countries, yet ignores others.It cannot be a place where
some members overlook the human rights violations of others so as to
avoid scrutiny themselves,” he said.