Pope calls for strong and concrete initiatives against racism
Benedict XVI “I offer my sincere hope that the delegates attending the conference in Geneva work together in a spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance, to put an end to all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance.” ;Sadly, not all share the Pope’s support. ; Several countries including Israel, the United States, Germany and Italy have boycotted the conference. Those countries deem as "unacceptable" the working documents that say Zionism is a racist ideology and fear that the meeting will become a "case against Israel." Moreover, they are critical of the participation of Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Vatican representative said the conference is crucial to combat discrimination, and that not going is the same as remaining indifferent to the problem.
The Pope used the Regina Coeli prayer to thank everyone for the warm wishes that he has received for his birthday and for the fourth anniversary of his election as Pope.