UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaks during the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in South Sudan at the United Nations Human Rights Council at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerlan Image Credit: AP

UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussain, a harsh critic of US President Donald Trump, will step down next year, saying he will not seek another mandate "in the current geo-political context," according to an email sent to staff which was seen by AFP on Wednesday.

"I have decided not to seek a second four-year term. To do so, in the current geo-political context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice - which is your voice," he wrote.