‘I will not stay silent,’ says former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

11 May 2019

Photo credit: Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, is shown at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council. 8 September 2014. U.N. photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (under Creative Commons license)

With much fanfare, the United Nations celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last year. But Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a former Jordanian diplomat who served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018, blasts what he calls the moral collapse of global leadership in this recent New York Times video op-ed.

“Most of our political leaders are morally weak, short-sighted and mediocre,” he says bluntly as images of atrocities around the world play on-screen. “It used to be that abuses were called out and many were stopped. Human rights violators had something to fear. But today, the silence of those public officials is astounding. Their hypocrisy sickening. And I fear they’re no longer willing or able to defend the human rights of all people.”

Silence, he says, is complicity.

Watch the video on the New York Times below.

Read Landscape News stories from the 18th session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues here

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