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WORKING GROUP I

Mexico and Sweden suggested amendments to document A/CONF.165/PC.2/2/Add.1. Mexico suggested a section on human settlements legislation since Habitat I. Sweden proposed guidelines for the selection of best practices and the establishment of a jury to make selections.

The informal, open-ended drafting group chaired by India reviewed a series of draft decisions contained in document A/CONF.165/PC.2/2/Add.3.

PREPARATORY ACTIVITIES

A. National objectives, activities and reporting: China, Sweden and Finland questioned the five-year national plan of action. China said the national plans of action should follow the Global Plan of Action (GPA), which will not be complete until Habitat II. Sweden and Finland said their national action plans are not on five-year scales. The Secretariat said the language is based on recommendations from the first PrepCom and that the national reports and GPA are to be developed in parallel. The Chair suggested that the decision could refer to 'national plans and five-year plans.' The Netherlands, supported by Sweden and Denmark, added that countries can formulate a plan and also give an overview of existing plans of action. Several delegations noted that different decisions designated either 1 August or 1 September as the deadline for national reports. They preferred 1 September. The decision was adopted.

B. Regional objectives and activities: Colombia said that a statement emphasizing similarities in regional cultures and economies should instead note their difference or diversity. France suggested 'cultural, economic and social convergence.' Gabon suggested convergence and diversity. The decision was adopted.

C. International objectives and activities: Romania suggested substituting 'housing' for 'shelter' in a paragraph describing best practices. Swaziland said subregional organizations should be included in technical cooperation. The decision was adopted but a paragraph on the GPA was deferred, pending further discussions in the PrepCom.

THE NATURE OF HABITAT II

The decision was deferred because it is still under discussion.

Financing of the Habitat II and its preparatory activities: China added to a paragraph requesting funding from governments, 'especially those of the developed countries and others in a position to do so, and to international and regional financial institutions.' The decision was adopted.

The draft decision on the State of Human Settlements Report, major reviews and other substantive documentation was adopted.

Draft decisions on accreditation and participation of local authorities, organizational arrangements for the conference, and activities parallel to the main activities of the Conference were deferred until other discussions on these matters are complete.

Financing of Habitat II and its preparatory activities: The Netherlands and Italy asked for an explanation of the budget. Denmark and Uganda noted that the decision was nearly identical to an earlier one, except for inclusion of a specific budget of $4 million. They suggested incorporating the two decisions. The decision on this item was deferred.

Date and agenda of the third session of the Preparatory Committee: Delegates noted that the dates in the decision are blank. The Secretariat said the dates depend on the availability of facilities in New York and on other arrangements to be discussed Wednesday. He said the third session is likely to take place between the second half of February and first half of March. Sweden said the decision could not yet accurately reflect the incomplete GPA work in Working Group II. Adoption of the subparagraph was deferred.

Japan said discussions had not been held on accreditation, so that portion of the decision should be deferred. Finland suggested adding a review of best practices to the status of preparations. The portion on the status of preparations and the remainder of the decision were adopted.

The Chair introduced a draft resolution from the Bureau stating that the PrepCom authorizes its Bureau to hold, as necessary, meetings between the sessions of the Committee to guide, inter alia, the Secretariat's work. Canada, China, Colombia and the UK said they would prefer to hear details on possible meetings. Until the details are provided, the resolution should be deferred. Japan said it had doubts about intersessional meetings because of the budgetary implications.

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