Brazil Hosts Rio+20, International Sustainability Conference

Brazil will host Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, on June 20.

Rio +20 is an international effort to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection, according to the conference website.

The conference serves both as a follow-up and twentieth anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which Rio de Janeiro also hosted. A final result of this conference was Agenda 21, described by the Rio+20 website as “a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.”

The subject matter of the conference is described on its website: “The official discussions will focus on two main themes: How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.”

Despite a letter writing campaign encouraging him to attend, U.S. President Barack Obama has not announced whether or not he will appear at the conference, according to Environment News Service (as of June 11, just nine days before the conference begins). German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron have announced they will not attend.

However, many heads of state have expressed intention to attend, including the leaders of Russia, China, India and Japan.

Sha Zukang, the U.N. under-secretary general for economic and social affairs, told Environmental News Service that, as of June 11, 134 heads of state or government had registered to attend the summit, whereas 110 attended the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.