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Ministers at UN meeting pledge to ensure action on sustainable development February 22,2012   |  Source: UN News Centre

Environment ministers from across the world today made a commitment to ensure that the United Nations conference on sustainable development in Brazil later this year succeeds in developing concrete actions to address pressing global environmental challenges.

The ministers, who make up the Governing Council of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is marking its 40th anniversary this year, said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro will be “a unique opportunity to address the economic, social and environmental challenges in the context of sustainable development.”

In a statement at the end of the three-day annual meeting of the Governing Council at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, the ministers noted that many of the environmental challenges highlighted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 are fast becoming reality as a result of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and fisheries to deforestation and the decline in productive and healthy soils.

Summarizing discussions at the conference, the current President of the UNEP Governing Council, Federico Ramos de Armas, Spain’s State Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment, said debate focused on the theme of the green economy in the context of sustainable

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