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Non-Aligned Movement Summit Wraps Today in Havana


The annual Non-Aligned Movement summit wraps up Saturday in Havana, Cuba with the 118 members expected to call for reform of the U.N. Security Council.

The leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Iran all made speeches Friday criticizing the United States for its influence on the U.N. Security Council, and for its foreign policies. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the summit leaders, saying the Security Council must be more responsive to less powerful countries.

He said the narrow power base of five permanent members on the Council risks leading to the erosion of the U.N.'s authority and legitimacy.

Annan also noted positive changes in developing nations in recent years, but he said the Non-Aligned Movement's growing influence means its leaders must take more responsibility internationally, and to protect their people at home.

The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia are the five permanent members with veto power on the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

The Non-Aligned Movement was established more than four decades ago with the aim of avoiding alignment with the United States or the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

It is not clear if 80-year-old Cuban President Fidel Castro, who is recovering from recent surgery, will make an appearance at the Havana summit Sunday.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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