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Giant UN conference opens in Rio de Janeiro

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June 13, 2012 06:47 PM EST | AP


RIO DE JANEIRO — The United Nations' largest-ever conference has kicked off in Rio de Janeiro.

The Rio+20 conference on sustainable development is expected to draw an estimated 50,000 participants including delegates, environmental activists, business leaders and members of indigenous groups.

The event runs through June 22, with three final days of high-profile talks among about 130 top leaders from nations around the globe.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is heading the U.S. delegation. President Barack Obama is not expected to attend.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was on hand for Wednesday's inauguration at the massive conference center in a Rio suburb where the event is centered.

Rio+20 is a follow-up to an environmental summit held in Rio in 1992.

Sustainable development aims to find more environmentally healthy ways to achieve economic growth.