The Pope delivered a speech last week to the United Nations in which he argued–as have many radicals over the last few decades–that the will of the international community to act in order to solve important global problems is being undermined because a few states have accrued too much power. The Associated Press has more:
NEW YORK – Pope Benedict XVI warned diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that international cooperation needed to solve urgent problems is “in crisis” because decisions rest in the hands of a few powerful nations.
In a major speech on his U.S. trip, Benedict also 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.
On the one hand, he said, collective action by the international community is needed to solve the planet’s greatest challenges.
On the other, “we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few.”
The pope made no mention of the United States in his speech, though the Vatican did not support the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which occurred despite the Bush administration’s failure to gain Security Council approval for it. At other moments on his trip, Benedict has been overtly critical of the U.S., noting how opportunity and hope have not always been available to minorities.
The pope said questions of security, development and protection of the environment require international leaders to work together in good faith, particularly when dealing with Africa and other underdeveloped areas vulnerable to “the negative effects of globalization.”