The global economic crisis is topping the agenda at the Non-Aligned Movementsummit, underway in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Shiekh.
Cuban President Raul Castro called for a "new monetary and economic
world order" at the movement's opening session Wednesday. He said the
new financial system must give developing countries preferential
treatment, but did not elaborate.
More than 50 heads of state are attending the conference, and many
leaders called for emerging powers to play a more active role in
shaping the world's economy.
Mr. Castro handed over the movement's presidency to Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak, whose country will lead the group for the next three
The movement has 118 members, and its summits bring together leaders
mostly from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The bloc
represents about 56 percent of the world's population.
The Non-Aligned Movement was formed by developing countries that chose
not to align with either the United States or the Soviet Union in the
era of Cold War politics.
It held its first summit in 1961.
Two days of ministerial-level meetings concluded Tuesday, ahead of the
two-day summit. Foreign ministers in attendance endorsed a declaration
on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that backs the creation of an
independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The theme of this year's summit is "International Solidarity for Peace and Development."
On the summit's sidelines Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh is set to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Pakistan-based militants are accused of staging a deadly siege in
Mumbai last November that killed more than 160 people.