Pope Benedict, calling the work of the United Nations "vital," told diplomats at the UN that respect for human rights is the key to solving many of the problems of the world. But he added "the decisions of a small number" are threatening international cooperation on those problems.
The pontiff, on his first journey to the United States as pope, raised concerns that power is concentrated among a handful of nations. The pope added that multi-lateral concensus is still in crisis because it's subordinated to the decisions of the small number of nations in charge.
It was a new message from the Holy Father, after he spent the first three days of his American trip focusing on the church's huge problem with sexual abuse by priests. Benedict prayed with some of the crying victims of that abuse during his visit to Washington.