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Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development kicks off with call to action June 20,2012   |  Source: UN News Centre

More than 100 Heads of State and government today gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the start of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which seeks to shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.

“We are now in sight of a historic agreement,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his address to Rio+20’s opening session this morning. “Let us not waste this opportunity. The world is watching to see if words will translate into action, as we know they must.”

After intensive and protracted informal negotiations on how to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development, 191 countries reached agreement yesterday on the Conference’s outcome document. The text will now be put forward for adoption by Heads of State at the conclusion of Rio+20 on Friday.

“I am pleased that negotiations have reached a successful conclusion and I commend the Presidency of Brazil for facilitating this resolution,” Mr. Ban said.

More than 40,000 people – including parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, chief executive officers and civil society leaders – are attending Rio+20 from 20-22 June. The event follows on from the Earth Summit in 1992, also held in Rio

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