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UN human rights chief slams Security Council after Russia blocks meeting

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Updated: 03:06 GMT, Mar 21, 2018 | Published: 03:31 GMT, Mar 20, 2018 |
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Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein slammed the Security Council after Russia on Monday (March 19) blocked a meeting to discuss the human rights situation in Syria.

“If the Security Council’s role in upholding the charter and human rights across the world is blocked, if it can no longer rise to meet the challenge of crises and conflicts, then as the UN and the great framework of international law begin to break down into irrelevance,” he said in an alternate meeting later in the day.

Russia is the largest international backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and a permanent member of the Security Council

France and six other members had called for the Security Council meeting, which was expected to include a briefing from Zeid.

China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan voted with Russia to prevent the meeting, while Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia were abstentions.

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