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UN Rights Chief Rebukes Security Council

Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay accuses the Security Council of putting political interests ahead of human rights violations.

Outgoing UN rights chief Navi Pillay has had harsh words for the UN Security Council.

Pillay accused the Security Council of putting short-term geopolitical concerns and narrow national interests ahead of human suffering and grave breaches of global peace and security.

Pillay was speaking before the 15-member body on August 21 during her final briefing after six years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She said crises in numerous countries -- including Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine -- "hammer home" the international community's failure to prevent conflict.

Pillay urged the Security Council to devise new responses to rights violations, including the possible deployment of human rights monitoring missions that would be limited in time and scope.

Pillay also recommended strengthening the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to regulate the $85 billion arms industry.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP