23 Jun 2012

Rio UN summit ends

9:16 pm on 23 June 2012

About 100 heads of state and governments have ended a United Nations development summit in Rio de Janeiro, endorsing a plan for the world to adopt a more sustainable path to development.

The agreement, entitled The Future We Want, covers a wide range of topics from poverty to climate change.

Executive director of the UN environment programme, Achim Steiner, says the summit has paved the way for a greener future.

"We now have a commitment that all countries by 2015 will join a framework in which they accept their responsibility for sustainability on this planet."

The United Nations sustainable development summit has ended in Brazil, with critics describing the outcome as too weak to be meaningful.

The author of a major UN sustainable development report 25 years ago, Gro Harlem Brundtland, says corporate power is one reason for lack of progress.

The agreement covers a wide range of topics from tackling poverty to climate change.

The document which is not legally binding focusses on the related challenges of poverty, economic growth and the impact of mankind's activities on the natural world.

It does not contain any specific requirements for action by any of the countries represented at Rio and many campaigners have attacked this outcome as vague and a missed opportunity.