Outgoing UN rights chief takes swipe at Security Council

UNITED NATIONS – United Nations' outgoing rights chief leveled harsh criticism at the Security Council on Thursday, saying the top world body too often lacked resolve to end conflicts and save lives.

Navi Pillay, who steps down in the coming days as UN Human Rights Commissioner after six years, said national interests often trumped human suffering when the council weighed action to put an end to wars. "There has not always been a firm and principled decision by members to put an end to crises," Pillay said in a swansong address to the 15-member council.

"I firmly believe that greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of lives," he added. Born in South Africa Pillay said the use of vetoes to block measures was a "short-term and ultimately counter-productive tactic" and urged the powers to develop a "broader conception of national interest."


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