Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday blamed poverty in the world's least developed countries (LDCs) on the "colonial policies" of leading powers and on an unfair international economic system.
"The least developed countries (LDCs) should not be treated as homeless people, they have the capability and resources," he told a UN-backed summit bringing together leaders of 48 LDCs in Istanbul. "It was colonial policies that impeded their development."
"The current backwardness (of poor countries) is the result of an unfair and unbalanced international economic system," the Iranian leader added.
And he railed against the unfair distribution of aid to the world's poorest nations.
Ahmadinejad called for a ban on the "military and economic intervention of hegemonic powers" in other countries and proposed a monitoring mechanism to oversee the activities of central banks and treasuries of the developed world.
He spoke on the opening day of a five-day gathering of LDCs leaders to mull a new action plan for the world's poor.
LDCs countries - 33 from Africa, 14 from Asia plus Haiti - are defined as those with a per capita income of less than $745.