Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Egypt, Non-Aligned nations focus on meltdown

In Egypt, Non-Aligned nations focus on meltdown

This July 15, 2009 photo released by the United Nations shows U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, speaking with Cuban President Raul Castro after the Non Aligned Movement Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.(AP Photo/UN, Mark Garten

World leaders gathered Wednesday(15TH ) at an Egyptian Red Sea resort town for a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, a 118-nation group that was born during the Cold War but is now struggling to stay relevant.The Sharm el-Sheik summit is the 15th since the movement was created more than five decades ago.

Cuba’s president on Wednesday called for an international financial system that better takes into account developing countries’ interests, as the global recession captured the spotlight at a summit of non-aligned nations.

Raul Castro’s remarks at the opening session of the two-day Non-Aligned Movement’s meeting in this Red Sea resort were echoed by other leaders and build on earlier discussions among officials from the 118-nation grouping of mostly of African, Asian and Latin American nations.

“We demand the establishment of a new international financial and economic structure that relies on the participation of all countries,” Castro said, ahead of handing over the movement’s presidency to Egypt.

“There must be a new framework that doesn’t depend solely on the economic stability and the political decision of only one country,” the Cuban leader said, apparently referring to the United States.
The new system must give developing countries “preferential treatment,” he said without elaborating.
said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "the economic crisis has revealed the need to improve the international financial architecture, so we may see the developing world and emerging powers gain more of a say in that realm."
The call by Castro, whose country has been under U.S. sanctions for decades, followed similar demands by the movement's foreign ministers and senior officials who stressed after four days of meetings here that joint action was needed to ward off the global meltdown's impact.
The summit's draft declaration also calls for the group to coordinate with China — attending the summit as an observer — to have their voices heard at international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The movement — born in the 1950s ago as a group of nations allied neither with the U.S. nor the Soviet Union — has lost much of its relevance with the end of the Cold War. Over the past two decades, it has become a forum in which developing nations meet to complain.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in his address, recognized the "challenge" facing the movement's founding principles, saying the group must work closely with developed nations to address the world's biggest problems, such as terrorism and financial instability.