Leaders of eight predominantly Muslim countries are meeting in Kuala Lumpur, while G8 leaders are gathering in Japan.
The D8, of Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries, opened its meeting on Tuesday to tackle issues in the developing world.
The conference has been opened by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister of host Malaysia, who called for world food production to be increased and finding a permanent solution to skyrocketing oil prices.
He said that because the two problems have become “grave threats” to the world economy, “bold measures” must be taken in order to “guarantee the well-being of our economies and our peoples’ future”.
“This meeting must come out with a clear message on the need to boost food production in the world. This is especially needed in the context of additional difficulties brought about by climate change and natural disasters”, he said.
Those remarks have been echoed by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s president, who said that the challenge of globalisation had been surpassed by the challenge of food and energy security.
Liberalising trade, easing travel restrictions and working towards the development of sustainable energy polices are also included in the D8 agenda.
The importance of food production has been stressed by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, even at the expense of one of Malaysia’s own large industries, biofuel production.
“The widespread conversion of arable land to cater for the production of biofuels should be stopped because such action will deepen global food scarcity and drive up food prices”, he said.
The D8 was formed in Istanbul in 1997, and consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is also attending the summit.