A summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) opened in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheik Wednesday.
The summit will “provide for a chance for discussions over the international economic crisis, which first started in the industrialized countries, and greatly impacted the developing countries, especially Africa,” Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said.
“Every country in the world must seek just solutions to the global economic crisis,” Cuban President Raul Castro told the body.
“The developing countries were the most affected by the financial crisis…And as usual, the wealthy countries were the source of the current crisis, which was affected by the ... illogic of the international economic order that depends on blind market principles and consumption, and wealth of the few,” Castro said.
“So we call for the creation of a new international financial and economic structure that is based on actual participation of all states, and especially developing states,” Castro added, calling for an “equitable economic system.”
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose country chairs the NAM, said, “We face the largest part of its repercussions and pressures and suffering.” “We call for a new international political, economic and trade order -- a more just and balanced order that prevents discrimination and double standards, achieves the interests of all, takes into account concerns of developing countries and establishes democratic dealings between rich and poor states.”
The 118-nation NAM began in the wake of the Cold War as a group of countries that refused to ally with either the US or Soviet Union. They instead chose a middle, “non-aligned,” course.
In the past two decades since the Cold War, the movement has lost much of its relevance. Consisting of mostly African, Latin American and Asian countries, NAM has since become a representative of the developing world.