Human Rights Chief Warns that Current World Attitude Could Lead to Collapse of United Nations
High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein Opens HRC 31 (Photo: US Mission Geneva)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has sent out a dire warning. In his last days in office, Hussein has warned that the United Nation’s five permanent Security Council member states wield too much power which could lead to its "collapse".

He said, “China, France, the UK, Russia and the United States are "running too much of the business" and they are able to veto resolutions put forward by other UN members due to the way the body is currently structured.

"When they cooperate things can move; when they don't everything becomes stuck and the organisation in general becomes so marginal to the resolution of these sorts of horrific conflicts that we see," Hussein said referring to Syria and Yemen. "That has to change: [otherwise] in the end the organisation can collapse at great cost to the international community," he said, speaking in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hussein has been an outspoken critic of several world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, as well as Israel's treatment of Palestinians and human rights violations in Syria's ongoing war.

He also alluded to the lessons of World War II that, he suggested, appeared to be fading with time. "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.

"All states are works in progress and one or two generations of reckless politicians can destroy any and every state. It's applicable to the U.S. as well."

Hussein announced in December that he would not continue after his initial four-year term expires at the end of August due to concerns he might be required to "bend a knee in supplication" or " be a mute statement of advocacy" were he to continue in his current role.