Delegates from across the world have gathered to discuss new policies aimed at reducing poverty and increasing global prosperity at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil.
"We are now in sight of a historic agreement," said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General at the United Nations, in a statement. "Let us not waste this opportunity. The world is watching to see if words will translate into action, as we know they must."
More than 40,000 people, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and several other delegates are attending Rio+20 from 20-22 June, 2012. US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UK prime minister David Cameron are not attending the conference because of the G20 summit in Mexico
During the conference, UN officials have put forth a few sustainable development goals which focus on establishing a green economy that uses more renewable energy than fossil fuels and generating more green jobs. The conference also aims at strengthening the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product to assess the well-being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing and adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production of food.
The conference focuses on improving gender equity and recognizing the importance of voluntary commitments on sustainable development.
"We have been given a second chance," Ban said. "Rio+20 is not an end but a beginning. It is time for all of us to think globally and locally."
After attending the conference on Friday, several industrial groups like Coca Cola and government organisations have agreed to use water more efficiently scale back carbon emissions and use renewable energy as much as possible, according to a Bloomberg Business Week news report.
UN officials claim that these goals will help all countries establish a better society.
"We think the text contains a lot of action, and if this action is implemented, and if follow-up measures are taken, it will indeed make a tremendous difference in generating positive global change," said Sha Zukang, Secretary-General at the Rio+20 Conference, in a statement.