UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al Hussein delivers a speech at the opening of the 34th Human Rights Council (HRC) session in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 27, 2017. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
GENEVA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The United Nation's (UN) human rights chief warned Monday that the world had "much to lose" if states failed to uphold, protect and support basic human rights set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Without a commitment to fundamental human rights, to the dignity and worth of the human person and to the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, our world will become chaos, misery and warfare," Zeid al Hussein said at the opening of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) here.
"Of all the great post-war achievements, it is this assertion of the universality of rights in human rights law that may be the most noteworthy," he added.
With the world facing growing geopolitical uncertainties, the high commissioner urged states to stand firm in their commitment to the multilateral system and not repeat past mistakes which saw the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, fall into disrepute.
"To those political actors who, as in the days of the League, threaten the multilateral system or intend to withdraw from parts of it, the sirens of historical experience ought to ring clear," Zeid told council members.
"We will not sit idly by. For we have much to lose, so much to protect. And our rights, the rights of others, the very future of our planet cannot, must not, be thrown aside by these reckless political profiteers," he added.
While lauding the progress made since the end of World War II and the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, Zeid said that more needed to be done to meet the human rights expectations of all people across the world.
"The people know. They know the dignity and worth of every human being," he highlighted, adding, "I ask you to uphold the rights of all, and to stand with us."
Created in 2006, the HRC is an inter-governmental body working to promote and protect human rights around the globe through discussions and recommendations.
Starting on Monday, the 34th session will come to a close on March 24.