India, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico questioned the participation of NGOs in the actual negotiations and in their contributions to national preparations for Habitat II. The final wording leaves room for those countries who want to support a more open process to do so. At the same time it does not ensure that NGOs will be full participants at Istanbul nor that governments should included NGOs in the preparatory activities. Both Mexico and Cuba brought to the attention of delegates, Article 9 and 10 of the "Rules of Procedure for the Participation of NGOs" adopted by the PrepCom at its Organizational Session in March 1993. (These rules were the same as those developed and adopted by UNCED). The rules stipulate that NGOs shall have no negotiating role in the work of the Conference and its preparatory process. The Chair has the discretion to allow oral interventions by NGOs, with the consent of the PrepCom. India stated that they were not concerned that the language of the text allowed NGOs to participate in national committees and in future PrepComs but did not want their inclusion to be mandatory. For example, on the final day India, (supported by Brazil and Poland) changed one part of the text from: "National Governments should seek to involve and support, wherever possible, governmental participation at all levels, as well as participation by community groups and non-governmental organizations in the delegations to the Conference", to read: "Without any prejudice to the sovereign rights of States with respect to the composition of national delegations, national Governments may consider the involvement and support, wherever possible, governmental participation at all levels."
The draft document from Committee I was tabled in a joint Committee meeting on the final day in document A/CONF.165.PC.1/L.2, "Statement by the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II)."
The Chair then gave States an opportunity to correct the text if it either omitted some points that were agreed on, or contained matters that were not agreed upon, in addition to typographical, grammatical and translation errors. The Chair, Ms. Mboya, stated that the text was not re-opened for substantive debate as it had been agreed and finalized the previous day. However, several substantive points were discussed and the session became more than simply adoption of the text as considerable time was spent in further drafting. India, Spain, Jordan and Brazil suggested substantive changes that revolved around NGO participation. Another issue was whether the participation should be at the "highest possible level" and, if so, should it be promoted as a "Summit." It was agreed to remove reference to a Summit as the level of participation is not yet known. The Chair of Working Group I, Zambia, provided the last word on what had been agreed in the drafting group. Additionally the document was re-titled "Recommendations" rather than "Statement" as it was noted that a PrepCom cannot produce final decisions or statements.
Sweden, US, India, Kenya, Malawi, Tunisia, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Sudan, Nepal, Central African Republic, China, Norway, Bangladesh, Uganda, Turkey, and Sudan made other minor unsubstantive changes to the text. There was some confusion about whether some parts of the text correctly reflected what had been agreed. After delegates discussed their recollection of what had been agreed the text was amended and finalized. The text was adopted later that day by the Plenary.
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