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Seize the moment at Rio, Ban says

UNITED NATIONS, June 7 (UPI) -- World leaders have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to embrace a sustainable future at an upcoming conference in Brazil, the U.N. secretary-general said.

Brazil is the site for an international conference on sustainable energy developments. The theme of the Rio+20 Conference, which begins June 20, is the promotion of a green economy and building an institutional framework for sustainable development.

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said economic uncertainty meant world leaders at the conference needed to find a way to embrace a low-carbon economy in a way that won't only protect the environment but also lift people from poverty.

"This requires international collaboration; it requires investment; it requires that countries exchange experiences and technology," he said at a news conference at the U.N. headquarters.

Negotiators this week finished a latest round of preparatory talks ahead of the conference. Delegates said 20 percent of the text of the outcome document is settled. A final preparatory committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro.

Ban said if world leaders leave the conference with few concrete developments, it will be "a long time" before they have a second chance.

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"We aspire to nothing less than a global movement for generational change," he said.

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