CNS News 
May 24, 2012
Ahead of a mammoth United Nations sustainability conference  in Rio de Janeiro next month, the Brazilian government has signaled a new push to get the U.N.’s top environmental body upgraded – a push long opposed by the United States.
Brazil wants to breathe new life into an initiative — vigorously promoted since the 1990s by European leaders — to replace the 40 year-old U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) with a full-fledged “specialized agency,” dubbed the U.N. Environment Organization (UNEO).
Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told a press briefing last Friday that the issue was a priority for her government, but she acknowledged that “there is no consensus in international organizations on the proposal to create an environment agency” during the summit, known as Rio+20.
“We are working hard looking for the best way to achieve this,” she said.
In what the U.N.’s Division for Sustainable Development says will be the biggest conference ever organized by the U.N., around 50,000 people, including some 135 heads of state and government (or deputies) will take part in the June 20-22 event.