Pope Francis says if he'd said the divisive term in public, he'd have been shut out of private dialogue with Myanmar's leaders.
Myanmar's military is accused of waging an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against Rohingya Muslims. But many wonder if Pope Francis will take a stand.
Since August, over 600,000 Rohingya people have fled violence in Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the "horrendous atrocities" suffered by Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population.
The U.S. is also considering officially declaring violence against the country's Rohingya Muslims ethnic cleansing.
She accused Rohingya militants of being "harbingers of terror and violence" in a Facebook video.
Aung San Suu Kyi had said little about the Rohingya crisis until Tuesday. In her 30-minute speech, she didn't denounce violence against the group.
Myanmar's leader has been fairly quiet about a mounting crisis within its borders, and the U.N. says time is running out.
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar, will skip the U.N. General Assembly. The U.N. says the violence toward the Rohingya is "ethnic cleansing."
Rohingya militants attacked police near the end of August, killing 12. But the U.N. has accused Myanmar's military of a "disproportionate" response.
An increase in violence against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population has forced the World Food Program to halt aid over safety concerns.
Myanmar officials have rejected a United Nations report that alleged security forces committed "crimes against humanity" against the Rohingya people.