BRICS leaders confirm attendance at Rio+20
14/05/2012 19:41 - Portal Brasil
President Jacob Zuma (South Africa) and Vladimir Putin (Russia), as well as the Prime Ministers of India, Manmohan Singh, and China, Wen Jiabao, have confirmed their attendance at the Rio+20 Conference scheduled for June 20 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro. All these countries belong to the group known as the BRICS.
Earlier this week the President-elect of France, François Hollande, who praised Brazil's social policy, also confirmed a visit to the country for the event.
So far, 116 Heads of State and Government have confirmed that they will be present for the discussions. Many governments will be represented at the event by ministers and aides due to difficulties with their domestic political agenda. The U.S. President, Barack Obama, for example, is campaigning for reelection.
The Brazilian Foreign Minister, Antonio Patriota, said that the challenge for the conference is to reach a consensus that does not accentuate differences.
"The proposal for Rio+20 is to take a critical examination, a balanced view [trying to resolve] gaps, highlighting areas where we have advanced. Individual countries can show certain advances, but there are other areas where progress has been neglected", said the Minister, outlining the difficulties in defining a consensus.
However, according to Patriot, the challenges should not affect expectations that Rio+20 will mark a milestone in environmental preservation, sustainable development and the green economy, setting a new standard for the sector. "Diplomacy consists of reconciling a multiplicity of interests. The interesting part of the goals is that they are directed at all countries in the international community".
The spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Tovar Nunes, added that as host of the event, Brazil has the role of being a promoter in the search for a consensus. "As host, Brazil should serve as a kind of bridge between existing polarized positions, seeking to consolidate a positive agenda", he said.
In the debates preceding and during the Rio+20 conference, Brazil will highlight the need to reconcile issues relating to environmental preservation, sustainable development and the green economy with social inclusion. The Government wants to show that the progress made here in Brazil qualifies the country for its role.
Brazil will defend the participation of excluded groups in the debates. There will be a space dedicated to these groups and non-governmental organizations at Aterro do Flamengo in the City of Rio, to be named the Peoples' Summit.