Christine Chinkin, a law professor at the London School of Economics and a coauthor of the Goldstone Report — the UN document that blasted Israel’s actions during the 2009 Gaza war — has been nominated to replace Richard Falk as the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it was reported on Thursday.
According to UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer, who broke the story, the nomination of Chinkin by UN Human Rights Council Baudelaire Ndong Ella was contrary to the wishes of the official vetting committee’s official leading choice of Christina Cerna, a US-based human rights specialist.
Neuer alleged Thursday that the nomination of Chinkin was due to pressure from Arab UN member states. In a blog for The Times of Israel, he urged the US to block the appointment.
Chinkin’s nomination is due to be voted on by the Human Rights Council on Friday.
Falk’s term as a UN human rights investigator had “tarnished” the body’s reputation and the United States was looking forward to his imminent departure, US envoy Samantha Power said on Monday.
Power said it was Falk’s incessant focus on Israel and the Palestinians that caused the blot on the UN’s record. “His publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the UN’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council,” Power said, referring to the Geneva-based UN affiliate that appointed Falk to the position. “The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.”
Reuters quoted UN officials in Geneva as saying that Falk would not stay beyond May 1, when his term lapses.
In her statement, Power cited Falk’s “relentless anti-Israeli bias” and “his noxious and outrageous perpetuation of 9/11 conspiracy theories.”