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Multilateralism reigns at Rio conference

June 21, 2012 at 8:16 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (UPI) -- The outcome document for the sustainability conference in Rio de Janeiro doesn't meet the expectations of every delegate, a U.S. official said.

The U.N. conference on sustainable development began Wednesday in Brazil. Delegates from 191 countries finalized the text of an outcome document, entitled "The Future We Want," during negotiations Tuesday.

Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, said the document will help advance the goals needed to achieve a low-carbon economy in a sustainable way. It was a negotiated document, he said, meaning it wasn't ideal for all parties involved.

"Everybody had things they were more pleased about and less pleased about and certainly some things could have been improved but I think it was a good strong step forward," he said.

The United Nations said it expected the conference to deliver initiatives on a wide range of issues from food security to comprehensive access to clean water.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said a multilateral approach to sustainable development provided a strong foundation for what he described as a complex puzzle.

"Now we have a solid base on which we can build solidarity, not just immediately, but also in the mid and long term," he said of the outcome document.

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