Brazil assumes presidency of Rio+20 conference

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Pragati Pascale

Negotiations on the final political document for the Rio+20 conference will now be led by Brazil which has assumed the presidency of the sustainable development forum.

Government representatives late on Friday concluded the third and final preparatory meeting ahead of the conference, with agreement on nearly 40 per cent of the text.

Pragati Pascale, spokesperson for the Rio+20 Secretariat, updated journalists about the process on Saturday.

 She said Brazil will conduct consultations on the text which Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota announced will conclude on 18 June. 

 "Minister Patriota said that he was confident an agreement would be reached by the close of business on 18 June. He acknowledged that the deadline was tight, and he appealed for the full cooperation of all parties to conclude the negotiations before the heads of state and government arrive. Minister Patriota said that Brazil would do everything possible to help achieve a successful outcome to the conference."

The Rio+20 conference begins on Wednesday and the dialogue preceding it has entered "a new phase," according to Nikhil Seth, head of the conference Secretariat.

 He said attention is now shifting from the government deliberations to other conference-related events such as a ceremony commemorating 20 years of the Earth Summit, the precursor to Rio+20, and the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days which began on Saturday.

So far, 30,000 people have registered to attend Rio+20 which runs from 20-22 June.

Duration: 21″

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