October 5, 1995
Web posted at: 1:45 p.m. EDT
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II urged the United Nations on Thursday to guard against nationalism that triggers violence. Citing Rwanda and Bosnia, he said "narrow and exclusive nationalism (by one side) which denies any rights to (the other) can lead to a true nightmare of violence and terror."
Speaking to the General Assembly as the United Nations marks its 50th anniversary, John Paul also called on rich nations to offer more help to the world's poor. "When millions of people are suffering from a poverty which means hunger, malnutrition sickness, illiteracy and degradation, we must ... remind ourselves that no one has a right to exploit another for his own advantage," the 75-year-old pontiff said.
Portions of his prepared speech were not delivered. There was no immediate explanation. Items left out included an appeal for developing countries to promote democracy and human rights and to kick out corrupt dictators.
John Paul's first U.N. speech in 16 years was given in English, French, Russian and Spanish. He also delivered greetings in Arabic and Chinese. Thursday's address was the main reason for his five-day U.S. trip. The pope also conduct huge public Masses in New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
Before his address to the General Assembly, he prayed in front of plaques in memory of U.N. staff members who have died in service of the organization.
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