Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would propose to transform the Non-Aligned Movement into an international organization that defiantly says "no" to new colonialism.
His remarks come as heads of state and representatives of more than 120 nations are in Venezuela’s Margarita Island for the 17th NAM Summit, in which the global body is creating agreements for the promotion and defense of world peace, one of the fundamental principles of the movement.
With the slogan "United on the Path for Peace,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez gave the inaugural speech Tuesday as her country assumes the organization's rotating presidency for the next three years after taking over from Iran. Rodriguez also said during the summit her country will ratify the defense on the right of the people of the world to fight for peace and sovereignty.
"Emancipation, anti-imperialism and peace are the flags that define the XVII NAM Summit Venezuela 2016," said Rodriguez.
With 120 member states, the NAM is the second largest international body after the United Nations. It has 53 members from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 17 observer countries and 10 observer organizations.
The summit, which ends on Sept. 18, will have meetings scheduled in three consecutive segments: meeting of senior officials, foreign ministers meeting, and a conference of heads of state and government.
This is the fourth time that a Latin American country that hosts the summit, and Venezuela is the third country in the area to assumes the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement. Cuba took the leadership in 1979 and 2006, and Colombia did the same in 1995.