Martti Lujanen, Chair of the PrepCom, stated that this session is of decisive importance because it will decide the approach, elements and outline of the main document for Istanbul. This session must also transform the inputs compiled from recent seminars, conferences and meetings into workable policy recommendations.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations: Wally N'Dow, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, noted that almost 100 national committees had been established. Habitat II must be a Conference for commitments by: governments to improve capacity and performance in dealing with problems on shelter; the private sector to play a stronger role in addressing social, economic and environmental problems; and the community of NGOs to enhance the ability of the public to act as agents of social and economic development.
Wally N'Dow, Secretary-General of Habitat II, stated that resolving housing and shelter problems necessitates: fundamental shifts in public policy and land reform; concerted and urgent efforts to develop equitable and rational policies that guarantee security of tenure; new ways to combine financing strategies and the use of local materials; partnerships between the public and private sectors and the communities; and an enabling environment.
H.E. Prof. George Saitoti, Vice-President of Kenya, stated that the deterioration of human settlements results not only from economic hardship, overpopulation and growing urbanization but from an absence of sound policies and insufficient capital investment in shelter. He urged that UNCHS be maintained as a 'distinct and separate entity' during UN restructuring and that its institutional capabilities be strengthened.
TURKEY: Yigit Guloksuz, President of the Housing Development Administration, summarized Turkey's preparations to host Habitat II in Istanbul. The Habitat II Conference should strengthen participation, consultation and enhancement of partnership, as well as integration of theoretical and methodological frameworks on human settlements for scientific analysis and policy making. INDONESIA: State Minister for Housing Akbar Tanjung pointed to the need to formulate urban development policies that promote rural-urban linkages while improving the ability of rural and urban populations to promote their own development. He called for increased mutual technical cooperation, especially South-South, to strengthen national and collective self-reliance. ZIMBABWE: L.P. Tavaya stated that the Draft Statement of Principles and Global Plan of Action formed a good basis for work. The government has set up a coordinating committee comprising various sectors.
JAPAN: Takayuki Hara, Deputy Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, stated that Japan is formulating a new Comprehensive Development Plan, improving the supply of public rental housing, and promoting international exchange in the human settlement sector. NIGERIA: Hon. Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Minister of State for Works and Housing, said Nigeria's preparatory activities for Habitat II include a national steering committee, workshops to introduce Habitat II locally and a program to alleviate poverty and increase equity. SOUTH AFRICA: Hon. Sankie Mthembi-Nkondo, Minister of Housing, noted that in South Africa housing was once a means of repression which tore towns and communities to pieces, and now is the time to bring together what belongs together. She stated that Habitat II can raise the awareness of housing issues, but warned against putting quantity of housing over quality of life.
MEXICO: Amb. Arturo Gonzales noted that the document goes beyond the Conference's terms of reference given to the Committee in addressing issues such as education, human rights and democracy. The Global Plan of Action should focus on commitments and organize international support for housing and human settlements. SRI LANKA: Minister for Housing Herman Leonard de Silva described activities undertaken to address Habitat issues, particularly among the poorest of the poor. Special legislation will be developed to provide access to housing for each family. EUROPEAN UNION: France's Amb. Michel Rougagnou, on behalf of the European Union (EU), said the final output should be a single document integrating the Statement of Principles and Global Plan of Action with a preamble that indicates the Conference's political ambition. Sustainable urban development should address all issues related to development, including historic, economic and geographic factors.
POLAND: Amb. A. Kowalewski stated that Poland's preparations for Habitat II coincide with their efforts toward democratization and their transition to a market economy. He urged particular attention to the global aspects of urbanization. INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ARCHITECTS: Tony Rigg stated that the difference between an enabling and an alienating world lies in planning and design of human settlements. He stressed the need for a new vision of urbanization. NORWAY: Per Nygaard said the documents should focus on: global issues, all types of human settlements, sustainable human development, political commitments and implementation and a framework for sustainable action.
FINLAND: L. Tarasti supported the EU and added that it is essential to reach consensus on the structure and contents of the Statement of Principles and Global Plan of Action, and that there are still basic problems in the document. SWEDEN: Amb. Lars-Gran Engfeldt stressed the need to address human settlement problems from the household and city-level perspective and to translate political commitments into workable and understandable concepts. THE NETHERLANDS: Amb. Ruud J. Treffers stated this session should concentrate on land-use management, sustainable urban development and the financial management of human settlements.
US: Hon. Michael Stegman, stated that the negotiations should complete substantive work on national preparations linked to a clear international framework, assure that Habitat II has both philosophical and practical content, and capture public attention. ITALY: Amb. Roberto Di Leo stated that the rights of individuals and security of land tenure are essential components of equity and justice. Italy has pledged $86,000 for the participation of developing countries. GERMANY: Dr. Michael Krautzberger, Deputy State Secretary, noted that the Germany is preparing an international workshop on 'Urban Governance' in Berlin in late October that will add to the Habitat II process.
NAMIBIA: Libertina Amathila, Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing, noted that Namibia's 'Build Together' national housing program was selected as a 'best practice.' The program targets the lowest income groups and allows them to initiate action, take decisions and implement the program. UK: Mr. John Zetter said the UK has commissioned a study of the country's planning experience as its National Report and established the UK National Council for Habitat II. UGANDA: Minister for Housing, Hon. Eric Adriko, reported on the outputs of the Eastern and Southern African Ministerial meeting held in Kampala in February 1995. The sub-regional declarations of Kampala, Brazzaville and Dakar meetings will be consolidated into an African Common Position during an upcoming meeting of African ministers responsible for housing and shelter.
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