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NAM summit: starring Castro, Ahmadinejad, and the global economy

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Chris Bouroncle/Reuters

(Read caption) Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua attends the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Wednesday.

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CAIRO – The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) opened its 15th summit meeting in Egypt today with a bold call for a global financial system that gives “preferential treatment” to the world’s poorest countries.

“We demand the establishment of a new international financial and economic structure that relies on the participation of all countries,” said Cuba’s President Raul Castro, the outgoing secretary-general of NAM, adding an apparent jab at the United States amid the continuing fallout from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

“There must be a new framework that doesn’t depend solely on the economic stability and the political decision of only one country,” he said, according to Reuters.

However bold, Mr. Castro’s call raises the question: does the Non-Aligned Movement have any pull to make it, or anything, a reality?

'Crisis of credibility'
Formed as a cold-war forum for developing countries that did not want to take sides between the US and the Soviet Union, the NAM has struggled to find its way since the USSR collapsed. On Wednesday, Egypt took over the presidency from Cuba for a three-year term.

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