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Twenty years after the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (the Earth Summit), which led to the adoption of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, the United Nations returned to Rio de Janeiro in June of 2012 to hold the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, referred to as Rio+20. Unlike the original conference, which lasted just under 2 weeks, the Rio+20 was scheduled to last just 3 days. The overarching aim of the conference was to reach political consensus among governments, international institutions, and major groups on measures to reduce poverty and promote decent jobs, clean energy, and more sustainable and equitable use of natural resources.

The conference had two main themes: (1) a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and ...

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