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Falk's 9-11 remarks are 'condemned' by UN sec.-gen.
By JORDANA HORN
01/25/2011
Ban Ki-moon's office writes to UN Watch calling the comments "preposterous," an affront to memory of 9-11 victims.
 
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.”

Falk 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.”

Dismissing Falk’s remarks as “despicable,” US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice released a statement Tuesday condemning him for endorsing “the slurs of conspiracy theorists.”

“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 asserted.

Neuer said he was generally pleased with the secretary-general’s response, but hoped that the head of the Human Rights Council would oust Falk.

“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.
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