AS WE GO TO PRESS

Francis arrives at UN, to give major speech

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UNITED NATIONS: Pope Francis on Friday began a closely watched visit to the United Nations, where he will deliver a wide-ranging speech at the start of a full day in the Big Apple ending with a mass at Madison Square Garden.

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The leader of the world’s more than one billion Roman Catholics arrived at the UN headquarters on New York’s East River at around 8 p.m. Philippine time where he was welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and dozens of waving children.

Francis, the fifth pope to visit the global body, was to speak later Friday as the United Nations holds a summit on development.

Francis, who has built a wide global following for his reform-minded views, is on a visit to the United States and earlier enjoyed a rousing reception in Washington.

The Pope will later will visit Ground Zero and greet crowds in Central Park before the evening mass.

AFP

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