Dozens of world leaders met at an Egyptian
Red Sea resort for the 15th summit of the 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement. But
the 53-year-old group has lost much of its significance since the end of the
It was an exceptionally large
turnout of international leaders, with more than 50 heads of state from every
continent attending the summit in the Egyptian Red Sea port city of Sharm
The outgoing head of the
organization, Cuban President Raul Castro told the opening session of the summit
that a new international financial system is needed to protect developing
nations from the global economic crisis.
He went on to say that a global solution must be found to solve
He said the movement has
reaffirmed its insistence that all nations of the world must be part of the
search for effective and just solutions to the present economic crisis. He said
in Havana it is believed that developing countries are the most affected by the
global economic crisis. He added that 100 million people around the world,
especially the third world, suffer from illiteracy, unemployment, hunger,
poverty and curable diseases.
Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak, who is chairing the summit and who will become the next head of the
Non-Aligned Movement, sounded pragmatic about addressing problems facing
He said the movement must
accommodate itself with the existing international reality and be nimble and
efficacious in tacking its goals.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki
Moon also addressed the summit, urging greater effort to shelter the economies
of developing nations and to make the "international system more fair and
In his address to the summit,
Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi recalled the developing stages of the
Non-Aligned Movement until the end of the Cold War.
Colonel Gadhafi complained the U.N. Security Council does not
fairly represent the nations of the world and insisted this is a threat to world
He also urged world leaders
to allow Iran to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, calling it "unfair" to
prevent it from enriching uranium. But he added Iran must not be permitted to
develop nuclear weapons.
Libya he insisted, had been
on the point of developing its own nuclear weapon.
He said that Libya "crossed the Red Line" and came to the point
where it was able to build an atomic bomb. But, he added.
"The world had changed, and we asked ourselves against whom we
were going to use the bomb? So, what was the point of building it? It was
costing us more than it was worth, so we stopped."
Other topics, such as terrorism, global warming and the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict were also addressed by the Non-Aligned leaders. The
two-day summit is to end Thursday.