Outgoing UN Human Rights Chief Warns UN Could Collapse

The outgoing United Nations’ human rights chief says the power held by the five permanent members of the Security Council could cause the U.N. to “collapse.”

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein spoke to reporters Monday in Geneva as he prepares to step down from office at the end of the month.

He said the five Council members with veto power — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — are “running too much of the business” and have created a “logjam.”

“When they cooperate, things can move. When they don’t, everything becomes stuck and the organization in general becomes so marginal,” Zeid said, referring to vetoed resolutions on Syria and Israeli polices toward the Palestinians.

Zeid also alluded to rising nationalism across the globe, warning that humanity may be forgetting the lessons of World War II.

“My sense is the further away we get from those historical and dreadful experiences, the more we tend to play fast and loose with the institutions created to prevent repetition,” he said.

Zeid, a Jordanian, declined to seek another four-year term as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is replacing him. 

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