Pope Francis thanks UN workers

Pope Francis
In this photo provided by Hillary Karsten, a wax likeness of Pope Francis is driven through the streets of New York City, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 as Pope Francis himself was heading toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral to give an evening prayer service. The likeness itself can be seen at Madame Tassaud’s in New York City. (Courtesy of Hillary Karsten via AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Pope Francis is thanking United Nations employees for work he says makes “possible many of the diplomatic, cultural, economic and political initiatives” of the world body.

Speaking to about 400 staffers in the lobby of the U.N.’s New York headquarters, the pope praised the contributions of everyone from officials to cooks, fieldworkers to maintenance workers.

He encouraged them all to “be close to one another, respect one another” and embody the U.N.’s ideals of a united human family working for peace and in peace.

His visit marks the fifth time a pope has been to the United Nations. It’s part of his three-city trip to the U.S.

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