Maduro expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani government and people for their hospitality.
"The 18th Summit brought us to the city of Baku, to Azerbaijan, with which we already have close ties. Venezuela attaches great importance to this organization and to the Bandung principles. We presided over this organization for three years and set three specific goals during this period: to ensure unity, solidarity in the organization and promote the spirit of non-alignment. We have completed these tasks and are now transferring the chairmanship to Azerbaijan," Maduro said.
"We cannot be indifferent to armed conflicts. We must protect our countries from hegemony. We have our own weapons to deal with this. We must act by promoting multilateralism. We represent a variety of regions, and this makes us a strong player in the international arena. Eighty percent of the world's oil and gas reserves are in non-aligned countries. We want to have a multipolar world," the Venezuelan president said.
The 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement is being held in Baku on Oct. 25-26.
A preparatory meeting of the high-ranking officials of the participating countries was held on Oct. 21-22. The foreign ministers of the participating countries discussed the preparation for the summit on Oct. 23-24.
Representatives of 158 countries and international organizations participate in the summit, including ministers of foreign affairs, heads of state and government and other senior representatives.
Azerbaijan will chair the organization in 2019-2022.
The Non-Aligned Movement, uniting states that did not join any military-political blocs during the Cold War, has transformed into one of the important multilateral mechanisms.
Today, the Non-Aligned Movement is the second political platform after the UN by the number of member states.