News / USA

    UN Chief Condemns Investigator on Palestine

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Lisa Schlein

    U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday sharply criticized the U.N. expert on Palestine for suggesting the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States were orchestrated by the U.S. government.  The U.N. chief criticized the official in a speech before the body's Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    It is very rare for the U.N. chief to publicly criticize one of the organization's own officials.  And he seemed dismayed by remarks made by the U.N. expert on Palestine, Richard Falk, who cast doubt on al-Qaida's role in the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

    In his speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged it was up to the council to decide whether the experts it appoints should continue in their jobs.  

    He said he respected the independence of the investigators, but Mr. Ban added that he could not condone irresponsible behavior that undermines the council and the United Nations.

    "Recently, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967 suggested there was an 'apparent cover-up' in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States," said Ban.  "I want to tell you, clearly and directly, I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric.  It is preposterous, an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack."  

    The expert, Princeton University Professor Emeritus Richard Falk, was appointed by the Human Rights Council to report on Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories in March 2008.  He has been criticized by Israel, and by Jewish and human rights groups for his controversial views.

    Mr. Ban's comments came on the eve of a U.S. Congressional hearing about the U.N. Human Rights Council, which frequently has been criticized for its alleged bias against Israel.

    The Secretary-General told council members that it was their responsibility to uphold the highest standards of the United Nations and of the council at all times.

    "We cannot be selective in promoting human rights," added Ban.  "We must address the full spectrum of rights with equal force - civil, cultural, economic, social and political.  Put simply, our watchword should be: 'all people, all countries, all rights.'  But more must be done to fully rise above national and regional interests.  If this council is to deliver on the promise of its founding, you must go beyond narrow considerations."

    The U.N. chief noted the Human Rights Council was created to replace and to redress the shortcomings of the Human Rights Commission. Mr. Ban intimated that the council could meet a similar fate, if it does not conduct itself in an impartial, fair manner.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora