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Rio+20 Summit Begins

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development started yesterday in Rio de Janeiro.

The meeting marks twenty years since the 1992 Earth Summit, when more than 108 heads of State agreed to work together to develop nation strategies to reduce carbon emissions, stabilise greenhouse gas, protect forests from destruction, and pay for their share of the damage caused to the earth through pollution.

The current summit gathers 193 Member States of the United Nations to agree on a commitment to accelerate action on sustainable development. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, calls these talks are "too important to fail."

The objectives of the Summit are to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges.

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

The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

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