NEW YORK – UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon’s office condemned Richard Falk, a
retired Princeton professor and a member of the Genevabased Human Rights
Council, for questioning in a recent blog posting whether the 9/11 terror
attacks were orchestrated by the US government.
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.”
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He added that “representatives
– however eminent they may be in their fields – have a clear responsibility to
uphold the high standards of the United Nations and the Council.”
had endorsed a book by 9/11 conspiracy theorist David Ray Griffin. In his
posting, Falk praised Griffin’s book – which claims the Bush administration was
responsible for the attacks – as “authoritative.”
remarks as “despicable,” US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice released a statement
Tuesday condemning him for endorsing “the slurs of conspiracy
“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,” Rice said.
“In my view, Mr.
Falk’s latest commentary is so noxious that it should finally be plain to all
that he should no longer continue in his position on behalf of the UN,” she
Neuer said he was generally pleased with the secretary-general’s
response, but hoped that the head of the Human Rights Council would oust
“We welcome the secretary-general’s unequivocal condemnation of the
despicable comments by this official of the UN Human Rights Council,” said
Neuer. “And we urge Mr. Ban, together with UN rights chief Navi Pillay, to take
the next logical step and call on Falk – who is a serial offender with zero
credibility – to be removed.”
Falk’s current term expires in May, but
many experts are automatically renewed.