Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe,
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council
June 7, 2013
The United States completely rejects and condemns the irresponsible call by Mr. Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, to investigate a legitimate and UN-accredited NGO, UN Watch. His statement and recommendation, if given credibility, would threaten the independent voice of civil society at the United Nations.
NGOs are crucial participants at the United Nations, and in the Human Rights Council in particular, because they provide independent views and perspectives on important global issues and enrich debate to include non-government perspectives. While we may not agree with all views expressed by civil society organizations, ensuring their independence is crucial for the protection of freedom of speech and to promote open debate within the United Nations.
Mr. Falk’s most recent statement, which he dramatically and recklessly included in an official UN document, is characteristic of previous reprehensible comments and actions he has made during his tenure as a special rapporteur. It once again starkly demonstrates that he is unfit to serve in his role as a UN special rapporteur.
His views and behavior, both official and unofficial, are offensive and provocative and do nothing to advance peace in the Middle East or to further the protection and promotion of human rights. We again call for his resignation.