World leaders weigh ‘green’ economy at Rio summit
‘Maldives to become the largest marine reserve in the
BRAZIL: World leaders gathered in Rio on Wednesday weighed
steps to root out poverty and protect the environment as UN chief Ban Ki-moon
warned that “time is not on our side” for fixing a mounting list of
Ban formally opened the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development
which brings together 191 UN members, including 86 presidents and heads
The high-profile event comes 20 years after Rio's first Earth Summit
when nations vowed to roll back climate change, desertification and
Maldives President Mohamed Waheed came to the podium to announce that
his Indian Ocean archipelago planned to set up the world's biggest
marine reserve to protect its fisheries and biodiversity. He said the
Maldives would become “the single largest marine reserve in the world,”
where only sustainable and eco-friendly fishing will be allowed. A total
of 191 speakers were to take the floor until Friday when the summit
leaders are to give their seal of approval to a 53-page draft document
agreed on by their negotiators Tuesday.
The draft outlines measures for tackling the planet's many
environmental ills and lifting billions out of poverty through policies
that nurture rather than squander natural resources.
In his opening remarks, the UN secretary general praised Brazil, the
summit host, for securing a deal on the summit's final draft statement.
“We are now in sight of a historic agreement,” the UN chief said.
“The world is watching to see if words will translate into action as
we know they must... It's time for all of us to think globally and long
term, beginning here now in Rio, for time is not on our side,” he said.
French President Francois Hollande described the deal on the draft as
“a step” but “an insufficient step”.
“It will be up to world leaders to make a positive step,” he told a
press conference. AFP