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 Istanbul+5 PrepCom II
 
Nairobi, Kenya; 19-23 February 2001

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Wednesday, 21 February: On the third day of deliberations of the Istanbul+5 PrepCom II taking place at UNCHS in Nairobi, the Committee of the Whole (COW) convened briefly in the morning for a progress report from the contact group on issues relating to the thematic committee and participation of NGO speakers during the special session. The contact group met for the rest of the day and into the early evening to complete organizational arrangements for the thematic committee. The Drafting Committee met all day and in an evening session to consider the section of the draft declaration on renewing Istanbul commitments. Plenary convened briefly in the afternoon to hear NGO statements on the draft declaration. Above left: bird-eye view of the Drafting Committee in session
Right: Manfred Konukiewitz (Germany), Chair of the Drafting Committee
 
 
NGOs meeting with members of EU delegations to discuss the legal ruling that excluded them from participating in the Drafting Committee. For full details, please see our daily report (links above right). Related story - see "In the breezeways", below.

Above: the Committee of the Whole's contact group met throughout the
day in various rooms, under the chairmanship of Martti Lujanden (Finland).

In the beezeways...

NGOs reacted to today�s ruling to exclude them from the drafting committee with unequivocal disappointment. Some NGO representatives said they now felt unwelcome, and would have to decide if they would continue participating in the Habitat process. Others spoke of how hard it will now be to �sell� both the UNGASS and the Habitat process to their constituencies and donors, and feared that their participation might be further jeopardized by the inability to secure resources for their continued involvement. Others complained that they had lost their last chance to contribute to the text of the draft declaration, since negotiations at the General Assembly in New York are always done behind closed doors. Yet others urged their colleagues to maintain a spirit of calm, compromise and innovation, imploring them not to �create another Seattle.� Many were looking forward to hearing the outcomes of Thursday�s briefing session between the US delegation and American NGOs.

Above right: at the UN compound at Gigiri, buildings are not separated by closed corridors, instead they are linked by open breezeways.
 
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