Secretary of State Colin Powell will head the U.S. delegation to the upcoming earth summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Powell will also visit Gabon and Angola. The official announcement came as little surprise.
African leaders had urged President Bush to attend the global summit. But Mr. Bush announced a few months ago that he will travel to Africa early next year and the administration gave indications that Colin Powell would be his representative at the Johannesburg meeting.
The summit is expected to focus on fighting poverty. In a written statement, President Bush said the U.S. delegation will carry "concrete and practical proposals" on how countries can work together on a number of development priorities ranging from public health to agriculture.
More than one hundred members of the United Nations will be represented at the summit, which begins next Monday. Secretary Powell will be in Johannesburg on September 3 and 4. He will deliver a statement to the conference and hold a series of meetings with leaders of other countries.