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U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development

Rio+20, shorthand for the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, was held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. World leaders convened there 20 years after the first Earth Summit, also held in Rio, and 10 years after the second summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg . According to the United Nations, Rio+20 focused on building a green economy to "achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty," as well as to create pathways to "improve international coordination for sustainable development."

The conference’s outcome document, The Future We Want, laid the policy foundation for a number of international efforts to promote sustainable development for people and the planet. In particular, the oceans section called for countries to agree at the United Nations General Assembly on whether to negotiate a new international treaty to protect marine life in the international waters of the high seas by September 2015.

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