Committee I was called to order on the second day of the PrepCom by the Chair, Ms. P. Mboya (Kenya) to address agenda items three (preparations at the country level) and four (preparations at the regional and global level). The documents relevant to the Committee's discussions were: Progress Report of the Secretary-General of the Conference on the Activities of the Conference Secretariat (A/CONF.165/PC/1/2); Draft Work Programme for the Preparatory Process: Report of the Secretary-General of the Conference (A/CONF.165/PC.1/4); Report of the Commission on Human Settlements on the Work of its Fourteenth Session, 26 April - 5 May 1993 (A/CONF.165/PC.1/7); Report of the Expert Group meeting on Urban Indicators for Country Reporting (A/CONF.165/PC.1/INF.3); and Guidelines: A Framework and Format for Country Reporting (A/CONF.165/PC.1/CRP.1).
The first session lacked focus and interventions jumped from issue to issue, often not relating to the agenda items. By the following session the Secretariat tabled a "Proposed Programme of Work" aimed at structuring the discussion. The programme covered many more issues than agenda items 3 and 4 and had the effect of making Committee I more like a plenary. The areas it addressed included: 1. Objectives for the Preparatory Process and for Habitat II; 2. Main Activities during the Preparatory Process; 3. Participation; 4. Organization of the Conference; and, 5. Financing of Habitat II Conference and Preparatory Activities. (Agenda items 3 and 4 were addressed under "Main Activities during the Preparatory Process.") This Programme of Work was discussed in general terms during the first week.
An informal Drafting Group was established to draft a working document based on the discussions in Committee I of the above five items. It was comprised of six delegates: one member of each of the five UN geographic groups and one NGO. (The NGOs met amongst themselves and selected a representative from the Habitat International Coalition.) However, the group remained open to observers and to the participation of other interested delegates. The draft document was available at the beginning of the second week and subsequent discussions focused on re-drafting this text. During the first week, the Chair opened each session by outlining the item under discussion. In an attempt to focus the discussion, the Secretariat identified the task before the Committee and suggested options for consideration and outputs. Despite these efforts the discussion still lacked focus and structure.
Throughout the week several States, the Chair, and the Secretariat requested that the discussion remain focused on a particular item. However, many delegates continued to wander into other matters. Interventions frequently informed the Committee of a particular State's activities at the national level concerning shelter and urbanization programmes or their preparations for Habitat II. Although the discussion did not follow the Secretariat's Proposed Programme of Work it nevertheless provided a framework for categorizing interventions during the first week. [Return to start of article]