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WORKING GROUP I

Working Group I, chaired by Pamela Mboya (Kenya), considered Agenda Item 3 (Preparations for Conference). At the first meeting, Secretary-General N'Dow introduced his Progress Report and an Executive Summary (A/CONF.165/PC.3/3 and Add.1). The US asked for clarification regarding sources of trust funding and monies received and pledged. Dr. N'Dow explained that the Habitat Foundation had resources that were borrowed to launch the preparatory process for Habitat II and stated that the funds would be replenished. The EU called for full transparency. An informal group was established to look at the financial question. At the Working Group's final meeting, following the work of the informal group, Dr. N'Dow told delegates that there was no intention to request further UN resources and that no effort would be spared in resolving the financial crisis. Norway expressed concern about the Habitat Trust Fund II.

Delegates also heard about the Best Practices initiative and from partner organizations. Nicholas You, Coordinator of the Global Best Practices Institute, introduced a report from the Dubai International Conference on Best Practices in Improving the Living Environment (A/CONF.165/PC.3/INF.4). The best examples will form a multi-media data base including an Internet web site and CD-Rom. Drew Horgan, Local Authorities Steering Committee for Habitat II, described plans for a World Assembly of Cities and Local Authorities and a declaration in Istanbul. Zekai Baloglu, Vice President, Third Sector Foundation of Turkey, said the Foundation Forum at the Conference will initiate global dialogue, accept a foundation declaration, and set up a task force. Seyhan Erdogdn, International Federation of Building and Woodworkers, described preparations for the Trade Union Forum.

Also in Working Group I, Australia introduced a proposal that participants, including States and intergovernmental agencies, announce at Habitat II commitments to action by 2000. This proposal was similar to an Australian initiative at the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW). The proposal was sent to Plenary, which, on the final day of PrepCom III, adopted the initiative with an additional call for regional groups of States to announce commitments and priorities at Habitat II.

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