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Water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity are the key areas where concrete results must be achieved at World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa later this year, according to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In a speech delivered by his wife Nane Annan at the American Museum of Natural History in New York today (14 May), the UN head called for "greater clarity on what Johannesburg is about and what it can achieve".

By concentrating on these five areas, he said, the summit could produce "an ambitious but achievable agenda" that would lead towards practical steps to improve the lives of all human beings and protect the environment.

Many commentators have expressed concern about the lack of basic consensus on the main focus of the meeting, which will bring together tens of thousands of participants, including world leaders, citizen activists and business representatives (see 140 days to save a world summit).

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