Statement by Ambassador Donahoe on Comments by Richard Falk
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council
I condemn in the strongest terms the comments made by Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” in his personal blog on January 11, 2011. Mr. Falk endorses conspiracy theorists who allege that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were perpetrated and then covered up by the U.S. government and media. These comments have no place in any serious discussion of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and demonstrate both intellectual and professional irresponsibility.
As the Office of the Secretary General has made clear, UN representatives have a responsibility to uphold the high standards of the United Nations and the Human Rights Council. Mr. Falk’s allegations of an “apparent cover-up” related to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States fall far short of that measure. I agree with the Secretary-General’s statement that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an insult to the memory of those who died in the attack. We concur in the Secretary general’s condemnation of Mr. Falk’s remarks and believe that a person who endorses these views has no place in an organization whose primary purpose is to promote responsible dialog and cooperation among all nations in the pursuit of peace and mutual understanding. The United States is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and believes that the Human Rights Council is tarnished and ill served when irresponsible UN representatives endorse such outlandish and despicable views.