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Reporter's Log Lan Lan
Media conferences often provide printing services, but not here at the Riocentro Convention Centre in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro.
Organizers provided digital alternatives, since using paper violates an upcoming summit's theme of sustainable development.
However, progress is rather slow for the Preparatory Committee of the United Nation's Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which has been laying the groundwork for the summit next week, said negotiators and observers.
As negotiators work on draft resolutions ahead of the summit, greater effort is still needed to reduce disagreements, including the issues of financing and technology transfer, said Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, undersecretary at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, at a news conference on Thursday.
The financial crisis cannot be obstacle to sustainable development, he added.
"We cannot be held hostage to the retraction resulting from financial crises in rich countries. We are here to think about the long term and not about crises that may be overcome in one or two years," he said.
A significant breakthrough in tackling the world's environmental and economic crises is now beyond the reach of the Rio+20 summit, said Martin Khor, executive director of the intergovernmental organization South Centre.
The summit will be noticeably absent of some influential world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In addition, experts believe key contentious issues will not be solved in negotiations leading up to the summit, as developed economies and the Group 77 of developing countries plus China, still have differing opinions in many areas.
But the summit can still achieve some success if old commitments are reaffirmed and new initiatives are launched, Khor said.
Action plans need to be updated at the summit since threats to sustainable development have become much more serious than 20 years ago, he said.
The G77 has proposed establishing a global fund for sustainable development with an initial budget of $30 billion per year.
As the host country, Brazil will explore with its partners pathways to an ambitious agreement and may suggest solutions for unresolved issues, said Ambassador Figueiredo.
A strong final outcome, not merely compromises, is necessary, he said.
Reporting from Rio de Janeiro. The reporter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(China Daily 06/16/2012 page8)