Bandung, W Java (ANTARA News) - Vice President Boediono officially kicked off the TUNZA International Children and Youth on the Road to Rio+20 Conference here on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony was also attended by among others Environmental Affairs Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta and Women`s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar.

Ridho Sani, the chairman of the conference`s organizing committee, said the event was a historical one because in 2012 there will a Rio Summit where TUNZA children and youth could raise their voices.

Organized by Indonesia and UNEP (United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) until October 1, 2011, the event in Bandung brings together over 1,000 young people, mentors and celebrities from 120 countries.

The conference`s participants are divided into two categories, namely children (aged 10-14 years) and youth (aged 15-25 years).

Under the theme "Reshaping our Future through a Green Economy and Sustainable Lifestyles", the conference will explore the role of young people in sustainable development and provide youths inputs for the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.

One of the main outcomes of the conference will be a "Bandung

Declaration" in which the world`s youths will make their statement on sustainable development in the run-up to Rio+20.

The TUNZA conference will also review the contribution of youth to the International Year of Forests and explore how young people can encourage their peers to adopt more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

The TUNZA conference is a follow-up on the decision adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa, which states that the views of children should be incorporated in decisions regarding the environment.

Men and women who attended the Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg conferences as youth delegates are also taking part in the Bandung event to mentor their successors and share their personal experiences in youth activism on sustainable development.

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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