In her AP interview today, U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay admits that those of us who warned her on Durban 2 “were right,” and that she was “naive” about Ahmadinejad:
Referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech before a 2009 global anti-racism conference in Geneva, Pillay acknowledged: “I was a bit naive.”
“I wondered why people were so afraid that he would use it as a political platform, but I see that they were right,” she said. “I think that it was pretty evident to everyone that it is an inappropriate speech to make at that venue.”
Ahmadinejad used his speech to deliver an angry diatribe against Israel, calling it the most “cruel and repressive racist regime” and prompting a walkout by European delegates. U.S. and Israeli diplomats had boycotted the conference from the start.
UN Watch welcomes Pillay’s statement. At the same time, it would have been better had the High Commissioner made clear that Ahmadinejad’s speech was simply hateful and wrong, and not merely “inappropriate” at that particular venue.