The new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has strong words for the current status of human rights worldwide

By Ena Cefo

The newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein began his tenure with a strongly worded speech on September 8th, directing focus to the urgency of bloodshed in Iraq and Syria, reports the New York Times. Mr. Zeid condemned the Islamic State militant group for offering “only annihilation to Muslims, Christians, Jews and others, altogether the rest of humanity, who believe differently to them.” Mr. Zeid drew attention to the conflict in Ukraine, praised human rights investigations in North Korea and Sri Lanka, and criticized Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and the United States’ treatment of unaccompanied minors. Mr. Zeid also criticized the veto power of the permanent members on the United Nations Security Council as a “form of cruelty” when it used to prevent resolution to atrocities.