French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for an emergency summit of world leaders to address what he calls the most serious financial crisis the world has experienced since the 1930s.

In a speech at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Mr. Sarkozy said the international community has a political and moral responsibility to deal with the effects of such crises. He said world leaders should act now to create globalized institutions that will regulate financial activity and rebuild a system of capitalism where rules of caution apply to all.

Mr. Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, also called for solidarity between Europe and Russia. He said Europe wants a partnership with Russia, but he warned that Moscow must not compromise respect for international law or territorial sovereignty.

Mr. Sarkozy mediated a truce ending last month's conflict between Russia and Georgia for control of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

On Iran, the French leader said Europe respects Tehran's right to peaceful nuclear activity. But he said it cannot accept a nuclear-armed Iran that would endanger the peace and stability of the entire region.

Turning to Africa, Mr. Sarkozy said the world cannot wait to achieve peace and end the "tragedy" in Sudan's western Darfur region. He said Europe also is committed to helping Somalia combat piracy off its coasts.

Mr. Sarkozy said Europe is working to ensure Africa has a place among the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and in what is currently the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations.

The French president called for enlarging the U.N. Security Council and the G8 in an effort to make the institutions more representative. He said the world can wait no longer to bring India, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil into the fold of international institutions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.