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Under Secretary Maria Otero to Lead U.S. State Department Delegation to the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum in Brazil and to Participate in a Meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Common Agenda for the Environment

Media Note
Washington, DC
March 24, 2010


Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero will travel March 23-30 to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, Brazil. Under Secretary Otero will lead the U.S. Department of State’s delegation to the UN-HABITAT Fifth World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro. The Forum runs from March 22 – 26, and other State Department officials include Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer and the Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis. Following the World Urban Forum, Under Secretary Otero will participate in a meeting of the Common Agenda for the Environment to discuss a range of environmental policy issues.

At the Forum, Under Secretary Otero will emphasize the importance of human security for all urban residents at a time when cities around the world are experiencing dramatic growth. She will highlight the connection of urbanization with prominent U.S. foreign policy initiatives including promotion of democracy and human rights, food security, global health, adaptation to climate change, and empowerment of women and girls. On March 25, Under Secretary Otero will lead a panel discussion on "Governance and Participation" and engage with live and online participants about "Civil Society in the City." She will also speak at the "Building with Energy Efficiency and Sustainability" launch, a U.S.-Brazil initiative that seeks to further the urban development issues as part of the Energy Climate Partnership of the Americas.

On March 26, Under Secretary Otero will visit the UNHCR Refugee Center of Caritas to meet with urban refugees. In the afternoon, she will deliver a policy speech regarding U.S.-Brazil cooperation on global issues at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

Following the World Urban Forum, Under Secretary Otero will travel to Brasilia for a meeting of the Common Agenda for the Environment, one of the bilateral dialogues between the U.S. and Brazil, and for other bilateral meetings. The Under Secretary will discuss a range of environmental policy issues including responding to climate change through the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas; conservation and sustainable management of forests; ozone-depleting chemicals; existing and new areas for technical cooperation, including protected areas, water, earth observations, and environmental law enforcement; an upcoming sustainable development ministerial; and the international environmental conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, 20 years after the 1992 Rio Summit. Further, Under Secretary Otero will meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and his senior staff to discuss social inclusion, advancement of women, human rights, and joint cooperation to assist Haiti and other developing countries.

For more information on the World Urban Forum, please visit:


Rio de Janeiro:
Heidi Arola,, (55-21) 9505-9134 and
Erik Holm-Olsen,, (55-21) 9947-0033

Orna Blum,, (55-61) 3312-7364

PRN: 2010/350

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