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The Rosett Report

Richard Falk and the Crooked Ways of UN Rules

May 9th, 2013 - 10:25 pm

You remember Richard Falk — the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur who last month wrote an article blaming America for the terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon. Falk suggested these horrific attacks were part of the post-colonial world’s natural “resistance” to “the American global domination project.” In response, more than two dozen members of Congress called for Falk — an American academic — to be fired from his UN post.

Now, according to a dispatch by Fox News editor-at large George Russell, the U.S. State Department is saying that Falk cannot be fired — because the rules of the Human Rights Council contain no provision for firing any of the Council’s dozens of special rapporteurs. That’s quite plausible; the UN also lacks any provision for removing a secretary-general (as became evident during the Oil-for-Food scandal, on Kofi Annan’s watch). It is also absurd, and in practice not quite credible. When UN senior officials want to, they can be quite creative about sidelining or ousting inconvenient personnel — though such maneuvers seem more often reserved for whistleblowers than for those peddling the anti-American or anti-Israel vitriol in which the UN specializes.

But in the case of Falk, it looks like both the State Department and the UN Human Rights Council will defer politely to the UN’s lack of rules for firing a special rapporteur. His earliest departure date will be May of 2014, when his six-year term expires. At which stage, as Russell notes, Falk could run for another post as a special rapporteur for the Human Rights Council, which is packed with countries sympathetic to his style.

It gets worse. Russell has also unearthed the information — buried in a 183-page report from the UN’s External Board of Auditors — that Human Rights Council special rapporteurs, such as Falk, are not required to disclose any support they might get from institutions or individual governments. The basic arrangement is that these rapporteurs usually work for a token $1 per year, but the UN Human Rights Council covers their expenses which, according to documents obtained by Fox, can range from about $240,000 to almost $600,000 per year.

In other words, while UN special rapporteurs appear to be doing altruistic work for a token fee, the Human Rights Council has effectively issued them a license to operate under the UN logo, expenses paid by the UN — and at the same time, allows them to accept funding from who-knows-whom with who-knows-what-agenda, and no requirement to disclose any of it. Oh, and P.S., there is no provision for firing them (see above, and read Russell’s piece in full). It may happen that some of these special rapporteurs try to operate with integrity. But this is yet another instance in which, if the UN had set out to design a crooked setup, it’s hard to think how they could have done a better job of it. It’s time to think bigger than firing Richard Falk. How about finding a way to fire the entire Human Rights Council?

(Artwork based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

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All Comments   (6)
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Once again this most valuable journalist (MVJ) has turned on the lights to catch another disgusting, diseased UN cockroach.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or better yet. Get the hel1 out of the United Nations. Quit playing in a schill game with a stacked deck. Take our money and go home, let someone else pay the bills for these clowns.
What is the reason that we are there anyway? There is no benefit to supporting these thieves....
Check out......
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Claudia Rosett is the genuine and near-extinct real thing, a hardworking journalist of great integrity, but firing the entire Human Rights Council doesn't even begin to cut it, however satisfying. The rot is in way too deep for window-dressing.

The starting point, as many who ought to know better will be quick to deny, ought to be an unvarnished understanding of the battleground on which our future plays out, yet nearly all flee in fear. You often hear said, IMO correctly, that this is the age of the generalist. But what happens? All our self-styled experts seem bent on learning and pontificating more and more about less and less, oblivious to the logical outcome (drunken Swede anecdotes? -- gimmeabreak).

Here's a list that takes a stab at defining the battleground, the global structure and the networks that keep the peasants numb, dumb and down. I don't know who wrote it, and I claim no credit. IMO it's both overstated and incomplete (e.g., no HSA; no malignant 3rd world poseurs; no crusading 'progressive' NGAs; no enraged homosexual fascists; no religious loons; no terminally corrupt denizens of the ivory towers; also, the intelligence agencies aren't all rotten by any means, at least some of the time they aren't). The list:

United Nations -- Global Police
World Bank -- Global Lender
International Monetary Fund -- Global Debt Collector
Bank for International Settlements -- Global Banking
Main Stream Media -- Global Propaganda/dumbing down
Hollywood -- Global Propaganda/narcissism
Intelligence Agencies - Enforcement epicenters/eyes and ears to preserve status quo (CIA, FBI, Mi6, Mi5, MSS, Mossad, FSB [KGB], SIS, CSIS, ASIS, DCRI, BND etc.)
Power & Control Centers -- US Council on Foreign Relations, European Council on Foreign Relations, Club of Rome, Bilderberg Group, Royal Institute for International Affairs, Trilateral Commission.
Financial Networks -- Global computer-network infrastructure for the movement and transfer of global currencies (the encrypted and hardened backbone of strategic submarine cables, fiber optics, etc.)
London Bullion Market Association -- Physical distribution/the controlling agency of physical gold (real wealth)
Central banking network -- Physical distribution/the controlling agency of global currencies (today's medium of exchange for services, goods and labor)
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries -- Global distributor/the controlling agency of global oil (consumable real wealth)

If you listen closely, too closely, you may hear the thwoppety-thwop of black helicopters bouncing off the tin-foil headgear of a guy who's either spread too thin or who watches too much SouthPark with Chicken Little... BUT... steady on -- two things: 1/ it ain't nonsense, at worst a worthy attempt to describe a framework of oppression; 2/ it'll take a whole lot more than self-important online twittering to deal with today's mess.
So, ladies, what's your plan? Vote for the GOP?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about firing the UN?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I moved to Manhattan in my 20s and rented a room in the apartment of a Swedish woman who worked at the UN. Upon our first meeting she seemed extremely nice and the apartment was clean and spacious. When I moved in the following week I was shocked at the condition of the bathroom and kitchen. Without exaggeration I can say that I had never seen such filth before and spent my first day cleaning, not that it did any good. The woman was a complete alcoholic who never left the apartment in the month I lived there. She drank vodka from morning till night and talked on the phone endlessly. The only connection she had with the UN was collecting her paychecks. I think she had her UN "job" through family connections. Anyway, this experience made me a life-long skeptic about the much-praised UN and since then I've thought the organization should be tossed out of the country and their beautiful riverside buildings turned into condos.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
While your suggestion has merit, it will never happen. The easiest way (I think) would be to start trimming back the US's contributions to the UN. Baselining it as a percentage of the total population would work wonders for focusing their attention. And yes, there would be tremendous hollering and gnashing of teeth by the rest of the world (as well as a few of our own). But it'll never happen.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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