2008-07-29 13:21:52 GMT 2008-07-29 21:21:52 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
TEHRAN, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) opened here on Tuesday with an inaugural speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"The world is on the verge of change," Ahmadinejad said in his speech. "It is facing frustrating challenges."
Big powers are root of many problems, said Ahmadinejad, adding that poverty is a result of wrong policy of big powers.
He accused big powers of trying to keep a monopoly on technology, saying that nuclear powers are blocking peaceful nuclear work of other states.
He said that the NAM which has the capacity for peace and justice can establish an arbitration council and can defend countries against invasion and discrimination.
The NAM potentials can be tapped to serve global development, Ahmadinejad added.
Representatives from 118 members, 15 observer members and 8 international and regional organizations including 60 foreign ministers attended the conference at the Conference Hall of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The conference is expected to review the developments and implementation of decisions made in the 14th NAM Summit in Havana in 2006, evaluate the latest international developments, particularly those related to the issues of interests for NAM member states, and also assess the achievements made so far in the process of revitalization and strengthening of the NAM since the holding of the last summit.
The NAM, founded in 1961 with 118 members as of 2007, is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. China became an observer to the NAM in 1992 which is made up of mostly developing countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean