UN human rights chief quits after Trump Jerusalem decision, saying he will not ‘bend a knee in supplication’
Posted on December 21st, 2017

Chris Baynes Courtesy The Independent

 The United Nations human rights chief is to step down, suggesting that his re-election would involve ”lessening the independence and integrity of my voice” after his outspoken criticism of world powers – including the US.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said he would not seek a second four-year term as the High Commissioner for Human Rights, telling staff in an email: To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication”.

The Jordanian Prince had reportedly been under pressure to tone down his criticism of Donald Trump, who he has previously described as dangerous” and blamed for a surge in discrimination, anti-Semitism, and violence against ethnic and religious minorities”.

This week Mr Hussein described the US decision to recognise Jerusalem of the capital of Israel as dangerously provocative” and blamed the President’s announcement for violence in which five people died.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had urged Mr Hussein to ease off his public criticism of the American President over fears it put US support for the United Nations at risk, reported Foreign Policy, which obtained the human rights chief’s email to staff.

In the statement, Mr Hussein wrote: After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term. To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice – which is your voice.

There are many months ahead of us: months of struggle, perhaps, and even grief – because although the past year has been arduous for many of us, it has been appalling for many of the people we serve.”

He did not specifically mention the US, Mr Trump, or pressure to tone down criticism. But his decision to step down raises questions about the UN’s role as a champion of human rights.

Philippe Bolopion, deputy director for Global Advocacy at Human Rights Watch(HRW), described Mr Hussein as a beacon of moral clarity” and said it was sad to see he felt that he had no other choice but to step down at the end of his first mandate to protect the integrity of his voice”.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of HRW, said Mr Hussein had faced working in a hostile environment”.

A spokesman for Mr Guterres confirmed Mr Hussein would depart at the end of his current term in August.

He said: The High Commissioner informed the Secretary General last week of his intention not to seek another term. The High Commissioner has always enjoyed the full support of the Secretary General.”

The US ambassador to the UN this week warned she was taking names” of UN members who oppose Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The President threatened to withhold billions of dollars in aid from those nations which criticise his controversial decision.

One Response to “UN human rights chief quits after Trump Jerusalem decision, saying he will not ‘bend a knee in supplication’”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    This guy will also lose his double pay from LieTTE. What a tragedy to you Mr/ Prince Hussein. But nothing to worry… At least you would have got $1M from LieTTE by now. That money is good in Jordan… Enjoy the beach and your big boat. BTW, how much you got from Clinton foundation for ridiculing Trump? You are better off now man than just a Price in Jordan..

    It is good news from SL. This happens to the people who are trying to screw SL. He is just another, not the last. Be happy that you are going home with millions of dollars Hussein.

    Mother Lanka is protected by the Universal powers. The only issue is the people living in this beautiful Island has become selfish and selfish so the nature has to punish them. Only way to come out of this rut is to re-start the old values and everybody follow five precepts. This will become prosperous and shine in the world as in the past.

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