Copenhagen Climate Change Summit Opens
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"The purpose of this event is to look beyond Copenhagen," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said in an opening speech.
"We will listen to interventions presenting global perspectives on climate challenges we all face, and we will hear suggestions on how to address these challenges," he added.
The 12-day climate talks in Copenhagen that began on December 7 has been tasked with sealing a deal to move forward the global fight against climate change after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.
Negotiators worked overnight on a draft agreement to be adopted at the summit, but hard-fought bargaining continued even when the leaders arrived, with an opening ceremony held nearly two hours behind schedule.
The delay prompted Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to walk out of the conference room in protest.
Chavez accused US President Barack Obama of late arrival, alleging rich countries had been holding secret meetings in the last minute.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives at the venue of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, December 18, 2009. [Xinhua]