Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff opened the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, dubbed Rio+20, on Wednesday, June 13. The Brazilian leader called on all countries to commit to reaching agreement on how to address serious environmental and social issues. 20 years after the first Earth Summit, which declared the environment a priority, the UN conference in Rio de Janeiro is the largest ever organized with 50,000 delegates. The summit proper runs from June 20-22, with over a hundred leaders expected to attend, including French President Francois Hollande and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. An earlier UN report emphasized the need to tackle population growth and voracious consumption that are straining he earth’s resources. The outcome of the summit is acknowledged to be crucial for the future of mankind.
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