POPE BENEDICT SPENT three hours Apr 18 at the United Nations, addressing the General Assembly and U.N. staffers separately and holding private meetings with the organization’s top officials.

The visit to the United Nations helped to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The pope told the General Assembly that fundamental human rights "cannot be applied piecemeal" and cannot be denied or diminished because of "different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks".

And, he said, when human rights are violated it creates a breeding ground for violence.

"Indeed," he said, "the victims of hardship and despair, whose human dignity is violated with impunity, become easy prey to the call to violence, and they can then become violators of peace."

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