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New UN Rights Chief Calls Syria, Iraq Top Concerns

The new UN rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, says Syria and Iraq are the world's top humanitarian crises.

Making his first address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 8, he said the international community must immediately stop the violence in Syria and Iraq to end human rights violations there.

He said the international community has so far failed to end violence in the Middle East and has not brought perpetrators of rights violations to justice.

Turning to Ukraine, he said "every effort must be made by both the Ukrainian government and the armed groups – as well as by neighboring states, including the Russian Federation – to protect civilians."

Al Hussein succeeded South Africa's Navi Pillay as UN high commissioner for human rights on September 1.

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