Saturday, 19 April 2008

Pope champions human rights, multilateralism in UN speech
AFP - Sat, 19 Apr 2008

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - - Pope Benedict XVI Friday launched a spirited defense of human rights and multilateralism, and called for greater dialogue between cultures in a landmark address to the UN General Assembly.

Dressed in his white robes, the 81-year-old pontiff reminded all 192 UN member states of their duty to protect their people from human rights abuses.

"Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights," he told a packed assembly on his first visit to UN headquarters since becoming pope three years ago.

"If states are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter," he said.

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