UN rights chief warns UN could 'collapse' without change

The outgoing UN human rights chief says the Security Council's five permanent members wield too much power at the United Nations, warning the world body could "collapse" if that doesn't change.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein decried the sense among some UN member states that the "pentarchy" of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States "is running too much of the business".

Zeid, a Jordanian prince who did not seek a new four-year term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke on Monday to journalists before his tenure ends August 31. Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is set to take up the job.

Zeid's comments exemplified his call for reforms at a world body whose shortcomings have been exposed over issues like Syria's devastating 7-1/2-year war and rising nationalism.