US slams UN rights official for “offensive” remarks on Boston bombings, calls for him to go

GENEVA, April 23, 2013 – Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch commended US Ambassador Susan Rice for answering its appeal with a sharp statement (see below) denouncing a UN official for his “provocative and offensive” remarks on the Boston attacks, which, her spokesman said, “underscore the absurdity of his service” as a top official of the UN Human Rights Council.

“We now call on the UN representatives of Britain, France, Germany and the EU to show solidarity with the US victims, and to make clear that Falk’s venomous justification of terrorist attacks against Americans as a form of ‘resistance’ and poetic justice has no place at the United Nations,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“And because Falk’s recidivist pattern of indicting America for the acts of Jihadi terrorists subverts the moral authority of the United Nations and its human rights system, it is vital for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to denounce the odious remarks. We deeply regret that Ban’s spokespersons have indicated their refusal to comment, both yesterday and today.” (See today’s UN press briefing, video here, where UN spokesman repeatedly rejected media queries, at minute 29:13 to 30:05, and again at 30:54 to 32:38).

Commenting on his article which sparked the controversy, Falk today revealed his distress at having been recently expelled by Human Rights Watch, the New York-based non-governmental organization.

Neuer said that “we cannot help but notice how when a marginal and unheard-of figure in America, a nobody, burned a Quran, Ban Ki-moon condemned him, as did other UN officials. The world was in an uproar and American generals and ambassadors proclaimed a thousand denunciations.”

“Yet here we have a UN-appointed human rights figure — whom the UN itself describes as a ‘top UN official’ — blatantly justifying terrorism, insulting the memory of Boston’s dead and wounded, insulting the American people, desecrating the founding values of the UN, and there is complete silence, no one is willing to take any responsibility,” said Neuer. “It’s shameful.”

UN Watch has led a 5-year campaign to remove Falk for grossly violating his duties as a UN human rights council expert to “uphold the highest standards of competence and integrity” including “probity, impartiality, equity, honesty and good faith.”

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Statement by Erin Pelton, United States Mission to the United Nations Spokesperson, on Commentary by UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk

New York, NY
April 23, 2013

The United States completely rejects the provocative and offensive commentary by Mr. Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, regarding the recent terrorist attack in Boston, Massachusetts. The United States has previously called for Mr. Falk’s resignation for his numerous outrageous statements, and these comments underscore once more the absurdity of his service as a UN Special Rapporteur.

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