Breaking News: The US Endorses UN Watch’s Call for Richard Falk to be Fired
UN Watch salutes the US government for echoing our call for Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s expert on Palestine, to be fired. The US statement speaks of registering a protest with the UN. Only the 47-nation council can remove him, however, and the majority of that body has always embraced Falk. These 47 could have fired him in March, after Falk was castigated for his 9/11 conspiracies by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Instead, they reportedly renewed his mandate for another three years, without objection. Besides, the council doesn’t meet until September.
So who can take real action here? Clearly not Mr. Ban. On the contrary, Falk has attack him with impunity, recently posting a blog about the “Shameless Secretary-General.” No one in the UN human rights system objected, not even the NGOs.
Only one person’s voice carries real weight here: UN rights chief Navi Pillay. The Geneva-centered UN human rights system reveres the High Commissioner as the Catholic Church does the Pope. If she reprimands Falk, the word will ripple throughout the system. He would be shamed within the diplomatic and human rights communities, and would eventually have to resign. Let’s hope the US registers this protest not with the UN in abstract, but with Ms. Pillay’s office in particular. In our Wednesday letter to Pillay we anticipated and refuted her office’s dodge that they don’t pass comment on the council’s experts. We cited contrary precedents from Pillay’s predecessor, Louise Arbour, among others. If her banner of anti-racism is more than just words, Pillay most certainly can — and should — speak out.