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UNESCO chief calls to harness power of science to empower people

PARIS, March 30 — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday vowed that it is committed to "placing science at the heart of all efforts for sustainable development," said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Speaking at the opening of the High-level Welcome at the Planet Under Pressure Conference held in London, the UNESCO chief highlighted the Organization's role in helping states answer key questions about equitable and inclusive growth together, with the help of science, according to a statement released by UNESCO. Held from March 26 to 29 in the run-up to the Rio+20 conference, the conference focused on solutions to the global sustainability challenge under the theme "Ways ahead: a vision for 2050 and beyond, and exploring new partnerships and pathways towards global sustainability."

It brought together scientists, political leaders, academics, health specialists, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the media, and discussions focused on climate, ecological degradation, human well-being, planetary thresholds, food security, energy and governance.

A series of policy briefs and white papers discussed and developed during the conference will be presented at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 in June 2012. "Our Conference this week is important for clarifying the vision we want Rio +20 to take forward," said Bokova. (PNA/Xinhua) dct/RSV/mmg

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