In a speech on his U.S. trip, Benedict said that respect for human rights, not violence, was the key to solving many of the world’s problems.
While he didn’t identify the countries that have a stranglehold on global power, the German pope — just the third pontiff to address the U.N. General Assembly — addressed long-standing Vatican concerns about the struggle to achieve world peace and the development of the poorest regions.
“The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and increasing security,” the pope said.
Those whose rights are trampled, he said, “become easy prey to the call to violence and they then become violators of peace.”
By contrast, the leader of the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics said, the recognition of human rights favors “conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war.”