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Late Breaking News on Habitat II

Last updated 13 June 1996 --

Working Group I cleared the way for agreement on text related to nuclear testing but made little progress on sections related to reproductive health. The US reported that it had received clearance to accept the nuclear testing language, which describes the need to safely resettle displaced populations and restore economic activities in affected areas, especially small island developing countries and coastal regions.

Regarding reproductive health, delegates formally and informally debated a wide range of formulations, some based on language from Cairo and Copenhagen, with no agreement. Canada suggested using Cairo language, "health care services, including those related to reproductive health care," instead of an earlier US proposal to include "family planning and sexual health." The G-77/CHINA preferred to delete the reproductive health care reference but stated it would accept language from Cairo. The US stated it would agree to delete the reference if consensus emerged. Although most of the debate concerned paragraph 22ter, the Holy See said that it wanted to consider this text pending the treatment of related issues throughout the Habitat Agenda. For 22ter, the Holy See proposed Copenhagen language, "universal access to the widest range of health care services." In the corridors, observers reported a variety of strong positions and unusual maneuvering to influence decsions on reproductive health.

The fourth day of debate on implementation and follow-up of the Habitat Agenda brought an agreement in Working Group II. New text invites the UN General Assembly and ECOSCOC to review and strengthen the mandate of the UN Commission on Human Settlements. Delegates agreed that the Commission should have a central role in monitoring implementation. Another part of the agreed text states that the UN Centre for Human Settlements should be a focal point for implementation whose primary function is to service the Commission and other intergovernmental bodies.

As the first day of Habitat II's high-level segment concluded, both working groups continued their work into the night. Details on debate from the Conference's ninth day are in Thursday's Earth Negotiations Bulletin from Habitat II.

Editor's Note: The ENB's photo coverage has been unfortunately interrupted. Our roving camera was last seen touring Istanbul, all by itself in the back of a taxi where I left it. Stay tuned. (-=- sw)
To catch up on the Conference to date, check out Late Breaking News from

We will continue our live coverage of Habitat II through 14 June. We have recorded RealAudio interviews and daily issues in English and French of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. More pictures (maybe) and sound coming soon. Stay tuned!!

ENB will not be covering most of the Plenary statements. These statements and official press releasesare available on the Conference Secretariat's WWW site.

Here is the conference document that is being debated in Istanbul.

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The Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) ended in New York during February. Although the spirit of negotiation was good, procedural bottlenecks and the volume of work to be finished produced less than favorable results.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin prepared a comprehensive summary of the Third Session of the PrepCom, which includes an analysis of the process through PrepCom 3.

In addition, we have posted RealAudio recordings of the final statements If you have any late-breaking news, updates or recent material on Habitat II, send us e-mail at enb@igc.apc.org

We published daily issues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletinin French and English from New York. Our daily issues are 2000-word summaries of the official proceedings.

Here is a link to the UN's gopher for press releases on Human Settlements.