In English and (at least a portion of) other Indo-European languages the perfect aspect's foremost role is that of a discourse marker, marking prior events (or events beginning in the past and continuing into the present) serving as background material to the mainline of the discourse. However, many world languages do not have a perfect aspect so to speak.
What are other mechanisms used by languages to make the distinction between background material and mainline material that happens to be in the past? I know some languages have dedicated morphemes for marking foreground and background material. Is the stative aspect commonly used for this purpose?
I would imagine it's safe to assume that most languages have such a mechanism, given the rather universal need to distinguish foreground and background material in a discourse.