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Late Breaking News on Habitat II

Last updated 7 June 1996 --

NGO peace caucus member Joan Davis recommended that funding the clearing of land mines be included in Habitat actions on land tenure. Her intervention Thursday was based on the first NGO submissions ever published as an official document at a UN conference.

Habitat II's fourth day featured debates over rights and financial issues, as working groups and drafting groups continued to review bracketed text. Committee I and Working Group I Chair Shafqat Kakakhel announced that agreements from the working groups would not be subject to further negotiation once the full Committee reconvenes. Delegates continued to pass along difficult issues to drafting groups, provoking concern among some delegations about the proliferation of those groups.

Working Group I discussed land tenure, taxation, and access to land within the section of the Habitat Agenda on shelter for all. In that section and elsewhere, use of "equal" and "equitable" and their application to land and inheritance were subject to repeated debate.

Working Group II held a sometimes contentious, extended debate over mobilizing financial resources and whether to retain reference to the 0.7 percent of GNP "agreed" target for official development assistance, using language from the Social Summit agreement. Norway and the G-77/China argued in favor of the Social Summit text. The US, EU and Japan objected to Bangladesh's suggestion to raise the target. Benin suggested that the group adopt the text and allow the US to reserve, but the text was left in "mental brackets" pending further consultations. Also a dispute arose over mentioning NGOs in a section related to access to global capital markets.

Drafting groups on the Istanbul Declaration and "right to housing" also met. The "right to housing" group made some progress, discussing references to the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights and whether governments' roles should be presented as obligations or responsibilities.

Editor's Note: The ENB's photo coverage may be temporarily interrupted after today. Our roving camera is currently touring Istanbul, all by itself in the back of a taxi where I left it. Stay tuned. (-=- sw)
Details on debate from the Conference's fourth day are in Thursday's Earth Negotiations Bulletin's from Habitat II.

To catch up on the Conference to date, check out Late Breaking News from

We will continue our live coverage of Habitat II through 19 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 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.