The Secretariat presented a budget for the financing of the preparatory process and Habitat II. Governments had received the Draft Work Programme (A/CONF.165/PC.1/4) that included a budget; however, while the programmes remained almost the same, the priorities, timing and budget were outdated. The Secretariat proposed a budget of US$23 million, of which no more than 15% would be overhead. Approximately US$11.4 million would be direct support to national governments in assisting the production of national reports (which includes direct contributions to countries, consultative services, providing information and facilitating information exchange, and development of management information systems hardware and software). The Secretariat then suggested that the Committee develop criteria for determining which countries would be eligible for assistance and how much assistance they would be given. It proposed that countries be placed in five categories and the countries with the least capacity would be given the most assistance and countries with increasingly greater capacity would receive decreasing levels of support. It also recommended that regional and global organizations be eligible for support where appropriate. The Committee was requested to determine which countries would be placed in different categories and to give guidance to the Secretariat about the level of support for national reports.
The Secretariat announced that this Conference has received less support from the General Assembly than any other Conference and has been given a budget of US$1.3 million for the 94/95 financial year (therefore more than US$20 million still need to be found). The private sector could be approached to sponsor various parts of the preparatory process and the Conference itself. Nepal, the US, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK suggested that many other organizations and agencies, both within the UN system and outside, have substantial areas of overlap with the Habitat II Conference and that full use should be made of any other relevant activities in order to avoid unnecessary duplication, lessening the burden on the Habitat II budget. For example, the UK suggested that the work of the Global Strategy for Shelter and the Commission of Sustainable Development be taken into account. The Netherlands suggested that the Secretariat make a list of activities, conferences and seminars relevant to the preparatory process of Habitat II. (For further discussion of overlapping activities refer to the "Analysis" section of this report.)
The US informed the Committee that an informal poll of the countries that would normally support these activities revealed that approximately US$3 million could be expected at the present time, suggesting that the budget needs to recognize this reality and the plan for country preparations should be reassessed accordingly and fund-raising should begin immediately. The Secretariat suggested that the Conference could be financed by the private sector but cautioned the Committee to think about the signal that this would send (that if too much is private sector there may a loss of control and symbolically this would suggest that governments do not sufficiently care).
By the beginning of the second week, Committee I had finished discussion of these five agenda items and the drafting group had prepared a first draft of the working document. Committee II had done had done the same. Both Committees were adjourned.
Although the Drafting Committees had been small and geographically representative they had from the outset been "open" and "informal." However, because many delegates were in the main Committee meetings they had not had the opportunity to participate or observe the Drafting Committees. During the second week delegates from both Committees formed a joint Drafting Committee, which was again open to all. However, unlike the previous week most delegates participated in the re-drafting of these documents. The joint Drafting Committee was informal and lasted for all but the final two hours of the second week.
No new issues evolved during the re-drafting sessions. The unresolved issues that had been identified during the previous week became more apparent as delegates attempted to agree on the detailed wording of text. Surprisingly, unlike the debate prior to the tabling of the first draft, indicators did not consume a disproportionate amount of time. By the second week, most countries had agreed, in principle, that indicators would be useful. Compromise wording was most difficult to attain on the issues of the urban/rural debate, finance, and NGOs. [Return to start of article]