The UK, supported by Finland and China, added "accredited" to Rule 61, as a qualifier to international associations of local authorities who could designate representatives.
The US suggested that local authorities' representatives should participate in meetings "as appropriate." India said Rule 61 should be amended to say that national committees are the main vehicle for local authorities' participation. Finland, Senegal and France said there should be two avenues for local authorities to participate; as national delegates and as representatives of local authorities associations. Mexico opposed double representation. Finland suggested a small group should meet to resolve the disagreement. The group was formed but never presented its report.
In the afternoon session, India said it objected to the possibility that Rule 61 would permit local authorities to attend without the knowledge of either the national government or national committee. France said the rule should not refer to governments. Canada said it would strenuously object to giving national governments authority to veto participants. India proposed amending the rule to admit local authorities "designated by international associations of local authorities and respective national committees acting together." He said the national committee is not government, and that a local authority should not bypass a body set up for all interests.
Senegal, supported by Uganda, Finland, France and the UK, said the problem was political, and that efforts to control or monitor what local authorities will say was not in line with democracy or freedom. Delegations should admit that they do not want some people to attend because they are opponents who are elected. Delegates are not afraid of NGOs and they should not be afraid of local authorities. Finland said because they are appointed by governments, national committees are governmental organizations.
Indonesia said its own and other countries' local authorities should attend, but on behalf of their State. India said it is a piece of calumny to think of national committees as an extension of government. The issue is not that governments should control local authorities but that national committees, as the common platform of all interests, should have a say. He suggested bracketing the rule.
Habitat II Secretary-General Wally N'Dow appealed to India to permit the meeting to move forward unless the issue created a preponderant constitutional crisis. Participation of local authorities is fundamental to the agreed spirit of the relationship with other partners. Partnership means giving up part of the governmental process. If governments are the determinants of who participates in Istanbul, progress has been lost.
India said he would heed the appeal, with the addition that selections be made with the concurrence of national associations of local authorities. N'Dow suggested "in consultation with" national associations.
France and Finland suggested adding that local authorities should be selected with balanced representation. After brief consultations, France, Finland and India presented the text that was adopted both for Rule 61 and paragraph 22 of the Organization of Work: "Representatives of local authorities, designated by accredited international associations of local authorities in consultation with national associations of local authorities, invited to the conference may participate, without the right to vote.... Every effort shall be made to make the representation of local authorities balanced in terms of region, size and type of local authorities."
Turkey added a statement to the Organization of Work that "the Secretariat should continue to solicit and encourage participation of non-governmental partners in the preparatory process with a view to attain representation of the broadest possible spectrum of views and contributions in terms of geographical coverage and different constituencies."
Paragraphs in the Organization of Work and Rules of Procedure covering officers and committees were dealt with together. In paragraph 8 on election of officers, the Philippines bracketed the portion relating to a drafting committee Chair. Canada recommended adding that delegates could elect a drafting committee Chair "in accordance with practice at other conferences." China suggested that similar language permitting a drafting subcommittee could be added to paragraph 12 on committees. The Philippines said a drafting committee should be established under the Plenary, not as a subcommittee, and that Rule 46 on Main Committees should do the same. Delegates agreed to "a chairman for a drafting committee, which may be set up in accordance with the practices of other UN conferences" in paragraph 8 and that the Conference could establish "...two Main Committees and a drafting committee, which may be set up in accordance with the practice of other UN conferences" in paragraph 12 and Rule 46.
The Philippines proposed new text that the drafting committee "shall consider the decisions, resolutions and other documents emanating from Committee I and Committee II before submission to Plenary." In a lengthy debate, numerous delegations objected. The Philippines said its proposal should be bracketed. The drafting group Chair noted consensus seemed against the Philippines proposal. Norway said the matter should be left to the Plenary. A small consultative group was formed and proposed that the drafting committee shall undertake work on documents, resolutions and decisions that may be allocated to it by the Conference.
The Philippines and Gabon said Rule 1, permitting participation of the European Community, should include other regional groups. France, on behalf of the EU, said the rule from other conferences should apply for Habitat II. The text was bracketed and left for consideration by the 50th GA.
ADOPTION OF THE REPORT
The Working Group considered the draft decisions amended by the informal drafting group for adoption.
ORGANIZATION OF WORK, INCLUDING ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEES AND PROCEDURAL MATTERS: The Working Group adopted document A/CONF.165/PC.2/CRP.2/Rev.2 as amended by the informal drafting group, with a minor change by China.
RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS (HABITAT II) as contained in document A/CONF.165/PC.2/CRP.3/Rev.1, as amended by the drafting group, were adopted.
REPORT OF WORKING GROUP I: The Chair invited the Group to consider document A/CONF.165/PC.2/L.5 as amended by the informal working group. Japan's proposal to introduce a section of a draft decision for "other matters" was accepted. Under International objectives and activities, delegates discussed whether to retain a paragraph on preparation of feasibility studies for support programmes to implement the GPA, when the GPA contents' are unknown. The paragraph was retained. The US said the decision requesting the Secretary General to allocate sufficient funds for the Secretariat for the period October 1995 to July 1996 and the proposed dates for PrepCom III, 12 - 23 February, 1996, should be bracketed to enable him to consult with his government. Norway warned of the need to ensure that the proposed dates and timelines correspond to the operative paragraph 3 of GA resolution 49/109 and the discussions held in the GA.
[Return to start of article]