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Rio +20 ends with mixed reactions

Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 02:06

June 23 - The three-day international summit to set sustainable development goals disappoints critics with a lack of concensus and a weak agreement. Paul Chapman reports.

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The Rio +20 summit on sustainable development goals ended on Friday pretty much where it started, according to its critics - nowhere. Oxfam says the gathering of more than 100 heads of state produced a lot of talk but nothing else. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN HALE, OXFAM'S INTERNATIONAL POLICY AND CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR, SAYING (English): "For us Rio +20 will go down as a hoax summit. Leaders came, they talked and they failed to act. It's been a profound abdication of responsibility." Environmental campaign groups like Ibon were equally scathing. SOUNDBITE: IBON'S INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR ANTONIO TUJAN SAYING (English): "The debate on whether to put that money to help save the environment or help prevent climate crisis, to help the poor countries in the world, is now being overtaken by corporations who say that the money is better off used to catalyse investments." The summit was intended to establish development targets based on economic growth, the environment and social inclusion. Critics say its final agreement is weak and even some of the signatories agree it lacks commitment, detail and measurable targets. But United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered a much more positive view as the summit ended. SOUNDBITE: UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON SAYING (English): "Rio +20 has given us a solid platform to build on and it has given us the tools to build with. The work starts now." Dilma Rousseff, president of the host nation, Brazil, also saw the outcome very differently. SOUNDBITE: DILMA ROUSSEFF, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL, SAYING (English): "A historic step was taken in the direction of a world that is more fair, equitable and prosperous, so that poverty may be eradicated and the environment protected." Despite the furore the gathering was never expected to produce the kind of landmark accords signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in the same city. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Rio +20 ends with mixed reactions

Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 02:06