Pope Warns Against Tyranny

Entire international community must promote human rights, pontiff tells UN
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 11:45 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVl speaks at the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on Friday, April 18, 2008.    (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict addressed the UN for the first time today, calling human rights the solution to many of the world’s problems, the AP reports. Speaking in French, the pontiff praised the UN, stressing the importance of international cooperation. But he also warned, “Multilateral consensus continues to be in crisis,” controlled by “the decisions of a small number.”

"Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights," the pontiff said, an apparent reference to countries such as Sudan that object to international intervention in domestic atrocities, the New York Times reports. Benedict, just the third pope to address the UN, appeared before General Assembly after a private meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.