Participation was given very little attention by Committee I during the first week. All States appeared to agree that participation was to be as broad as possible, including many non-governmental and quasi-governmental organizations in addition to many levels of government, particularly the local level. This was reflected by the inclusion of NGOs participating in the discussions of Committee I. In the same manner as delegates, they were given the floor in turn. They were even included in the Drafting Committee, consisting of five State representatives and one NGO.
The Secretariat asked the Committee to identify the key actors, institutional arrangements and dialogue mechanisms for carrying out the preparatory activities. It suggested that the Committee develop: 1) a draft recommendation on composition and responsibilities of national committees and local coalitions; 2) a draft recommendation on representation at the Habitat II Conference; and, 3) a draft decision on modalities for information exchange and communication between and among key actors and between levels (local, national, regional and global).
Dr. N'Dow stated that Committee must be broad-based in its activities and include a wide range of community groups, private sector and other actors. The Secretariat expressed concern there had not been enough emphasis given to governments, and especially at the head of government level, attending the Conference.
Some States noted that they had or would set up national committees to prepare for Habitat II. Tunisia stressed the need to open these committees to others. France suggested that all States should set up committees that would have representatives from many sectors. [Return to start of article]