Ban slams Falk’s 9/11 statements

UN sec. gen. office writes to UN Watch calling the comments "preposterous," an affront to memory of 9-11 victims.

January 27, 2011 22:44
2 minute read.
Richard Falk

richard falk 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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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.

On 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.

“In 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.

The 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.

Ban told 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.

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