ESCWA resigning chief receives widespread support in dispute with UN

By JT , AFP – Mar 18,2017 – JORDAN TIMES


Rima Khalaf


AMMAN/Beirut — NGOs, grassroots, and even Lebanon’s Hizbollah, voiced support for outgoing UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia’s (ESCWA) top official, Rima Khalaf, in her dispute with UN chief over her organisation’s report on Israel’s “apartheid”.

Khalaf, undersecretary general and executive secretary at ESCWA, announced her resignation on Friday, stating that the UN secretary general had asked her to withdraw a report in which she accused Israel of being an “apartheid state”, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Reactions in Jordan, Khalaf’s home country, came widely in support of her decision. A civil society coordinating coalition in Jordan, HIMAM, denounced the UN’s decision and praised Rima Khalaf.

In a statement sent to the Jordan Times on Saturday, HIMAM said: “The coalition expresses its sorrow and condemnation of the decision of the UN Secretary General to withdraw the report issued by [ESCWA].”  

“HIMAM adds its voice to those around the globe fighting for freedom and independence and the right to self determination. HIMAM calls for the implementation of the recommendations made in the report as a prelude to prosecuting Israel at the International criminal court which considers racism and national discrimination a crime of war,” the statement added

It described the report as an objective investigation away from political biases, saying that the proceedings and the data were professionally documented and showed that Israel was imposing “racist separation” on the Palestinian people.


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