The Habitat II Secretariat suggested that objectives for both the preparatory process and for Habitat II should be decided. It suggested a small set of specific national, regional and international objectives for both. However most of the discussion focused on products rather than goals and objectives. Niger outlined three objectives: to attract international attention to the issues; to ensure that the question of human settlements should be viewed as a priority by all governments; and, investment in the human settlements sector and housing sector should be relaunched, taking into account the particular circumstances of each country.
Habitat International Coalition suggested that the objectives of Habitat II, as outlined in General Assembly Resolution 47/180, were not specific enough and that emphasis should be on national plans. The US presented a short paper that listed "goals" for the Conference that included: the Adoption of a Shelter/Urbanization Analysis System; Adoption of an Enabling Strategy; presentation of a "State of the Human Settlements" Report; production of a Statement of Principles; production of a Global Plan of Action; and presentation of World Shelter and Urbanization Idea/Technology Forum and Fair. The US was the only country to present their suggestions in a written form and as a result this paper formed the basis of the Drafting Group's text. Kenya proposed four objectives: to review and evaluate all critical issues and present the state of human settlements; to discuss analyze and present a statement of principles; to propose, discuss and adopt a plan of action; and, to plan, promote and implement a trade fair. Finland expressed concern that there had been confusion about goals and the means to implement them and suggested that the preparatory process was a means to implement goals that had yet to be determined. Sweden suggested that any material produced should be useful to local communities and households because global changes in approach to human settlement issues will only happen at the community or local level. Norway suggested that the objectives should include raising awareness.
Canada remarked that a lot of time was being spent discussing indicators rather than goals. It suggested that the Conference is about real people, not numbers, and a vision that will capture the imagination of the world is needed. Canada also suggested that an event, such as a live link-up of people in cities throughout the world during the Conference, could be staged at Habitat II as a means of capturing media attention. France requested that the Drafting Committee determine the objectives of the Habitat II Conference to allow delegates to return to their capitals and marshal forces behind the Conference. [Return to start of article]