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PREPCOM I

The first substantive session of the PrepCom was held in Geneva from 11-22 April 1994. Delegates agreed that the overriding objective of the Conference should be to increase world awareness of the problems and potentials of human settlements as important inputs to social progress and economic growth and to commit the world's leaders to making cities, towns and villages healthy, safe, just and sustainable. The PrepCom also took decisions on the organization of the Conference and financing, national and international objectives, participation, the draft Statement of Principles and Commitments and the draft Global Plan of Action.

Regarding national objectives, delegates agreed that each participating country should design, adopt and implement a national plan of action, which will address the issue of human settlements in both urban and rural areas, taking into consideration environmental issues, and which will involve the full participation and support of the public and private sectors, and non-governmental (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). Countries should also strengthen the capacity of institutions at all levels to monitor shelter conditions and urbanization processes using a minimum set of substantially uniform and consistent indicators.

Regarding international objectives, delegates agreed that the preparatory process should: present a "State of Human Settlements" report; produce a Statement of Principles and Commitments based on a new international consensus on policies and goals for shelter; produce a Global Plan of Action to mobilize international resources and create institutional arrangements to assist countries to implement and monitor the goals of sustainable human settlements and shelter for all and to protect the environment against unwarranted and undesirable impacts of urbanization; and make available the broadest range of information concerning shelter strategies, technologies, resources, experience, expertise and sources of support.

Regarding participation, delegates agreed that governments of participating States should establish national committees with broad participation from all levels of government, civic leaders, the academic and scientific community, grassroots leaders, NGOs and CBOs, and the private sector. These committees should formulate, adopt and implement a work programme that includes the production of a national report, discussion on priority issues, organization of local and country consultations and forums, and preparation and presentation of audio-visual documentaries of examples of best practice in human settlement development.

Delegates agreed that the Draft Statement of Principles and Commitments should reaffirm and be framed within the general goals of the UN, contain a reference to the Principles adopted by Habitat I as well as the Rio Declaration, and introduce the rationale for the new principles and commitments that will guide national and international action on human settlements for the next two decades.

Delegates agreed that the Draft Global Plan of Action should be structured around the two main themes of the Conference: adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world. The following multi-sectoral issues should be considered: settlements management; poverty reduction; environmental management; and disaster mitigation, relief and reconstruction. Cross-sectoral issues that should be considered include: women, the urban economy and employment; social and economic dimensions of urbanization and shelter development; education and capacity building; and equity and vulnerable social groups.

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