Disappointing end to Rio summit
PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard has insisted the Rio sustainable development summit made some progress, as world leaders wavered between bemoaning its wishy washy agreement and trying to put a brave face on the outcome.
Ms Gillard said the meeting had achieved a commitment to develop sustainable development goals by 2015, a decision to strengthen the UN environmental decision making bodies and pledges on the protection of oceans beyond individual countries ' exclusive economic zones.
"I do not believe that this meeting will make change tomorrow, but I do believe that the things that have been agreed here over time will make a difference to the world's environment," Ms Gillard said as she prepared to fly home for the final week of parliamentary sittings before the winter break.
I can certainly understand that there were many groups and many people around the world who would have had an ambition for more progress at this meeting...but we shouldn't forget where progress has been made," she said.
The meeting was never intended to reach a binding agreement, but the deal it did reach was so watered down that many activists and some ministers were openly questioning whether it was worth the massive effort of bringing 45, 381 participants and almost 100 world leaders to Brazil.
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