Trump’s remarks would take world back to WWI: UN's rights chief

This picture taken on August 30, 2017 in Geneva shows United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations human rights chief has warned that US President Donald Trump’s speech in Switzerland would take the world back to the eve of World War One.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein expressed the alarm on Friday after Trump said in a speech at the Swiss ski resort of Davos that countries should pursue their own self-interest.

”It’s the script of the 20th century,“ Prince Zeid said. “He (Trump) urged all countries to pursue their own interest, almost without reference to the fact that if you do all of that, if each country is narrowly pursuing its agenda, it will clash with the agendas of others and we will take the world back to 1913 once again.”

In his address at the World Economic Forum, Trump repeated his “America first” slogan, saying he would expect all world leaders to put the interests of their own countries first.

Trump delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.  (Photo by AFP)

“As president of the United States I will always put America first,” he said. “But America first does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world.”

Prince Zeid said such a policy would lead to “it all coming apart at some stage” and getting “us into trouble.”

“Ethnic nationalisms, chauvinistic nationalisms, a sense that there is a supremacy within communities determined on the basis of color or ethnicity, and that others are somehow lesser people, or that certain countries are somehow morally superior to others,” he said in reference to Trump’s speech.

Prince Zeid, a former Jordanian diplomat and member of the deposed royal family of Iraq, has, on several occasions, criticised Trump in the past while serving as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Trump administration, in return, has threatened to quit the UN Human Rights Council, which works closely with Zeid’s office despite being separate from it.

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