This section notes that changes have taken place since Habitat I in Vancouver. World population has increased and economics are increasingly globalized. It also notes that there are many things national governments can do to enable local communities to solve problems, recognizes that recent UN conferences identified strategies, and states that the Global Plan of Action (GPA) is based on enablement and participation.
The paragraph regarding the globalization of the economy generated the greatest debate, and remains in brackets. A G-77 and China redraft added, among other things, a reference to the creation of "conditions for destabilizing shocks to be transmitted from one country to another, particularly to developing countries." An informal group redraft split the paragraph into two, the first focusing on globalization of the economy and the second on new communications technology, but the G-77 and China requested that the original text remain in brackets.
A reference to "sustainable development, including sustained growth" also remains bracketed. This is one of a number of similar references in which the US preferred a reference to "sustainable development," citing WSSD text in which the reference encompassed economic growth, environmental protection and social development, and the G-77 and China desired a specific reference to economic growth.
B. ADEQUATE SHELTER FOR ALL
1. Introduction: This section defines what adequate shelter means, identifies a [right to housing] and notes actions needed to enable adequate shelter for all. The paragraph on a "right to housing" was assigned to an informal group. The Republic of Korea had proposed text noting the basic human need for adequate shelter and governments' responsibility to attain the goal of adequate shelter for all. Japan suggested that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be followed. The US also objected to text noting that there is a "right to housing." In the informal group's report, delegates added a list of actions to ensure adequate shelter, but the portion related to the "right to housing" remained bracketed.
A paragraph on national shelter policy was discussed by the Subgroup, along with an additional paragraph regarding decentralized shelter policies, but the Plenary did not adopt them and they remain bracketed. An additional paragraph on policies that would ensure progress toward realizing an adequate standard of living, proposed by the US, was not discussed and remains bracketed.
2. Shelter Policies: This section identifies actions to: integrate shelter policies with macroeconomic, social and other policies; promote the enablement approach to the development and rehabilitation of shelter; and improve shelter delivery systems. The Subgroup reached agreement on all of the text except for a reference to "sustainable development" (EU) and "sustained economic growth" (G-77 and China). Two subparagraphs, one on sustainable development in housing policies (which contains the bracketed references) and one on access for persons with disabilities, were not considered by the Plenary and remain bracketed.
3. Shelter delivery systems: This section identifies actions to: enable markets to work; ensure access to land; mobilize sources of finance; ensure access to basic infrastructure and services; and improve construction, maintenance and rehabilitation. Bracketed text includes references to "equal" and "equitable" access to and use of land, and to the application of taxation and incentive mechanisms to stimulate the efficient, environmentally sound and equitable use of land (bracketed at the request of the US). Benin bracketed references to "stakeholders" throughout the document. Iran bracketed a subparagraph regarding substitutes for non-renewable resources, stating it was inconsistent with the UNFCCC. The Subgroup considered a paragraph regarding access to land and legal security of tenure, and agreed to all but a recognition of different national regimes of land tenure (proposed by Mexico). The Plenary, however, did not consider the paragraph and it remains in brackets.
4. Vulnerable groups: Recommended actions in this section include legal, fiscal, and regulatory measures on discrimination, services, and participation. Most of the chapeau, including the list of disadvantaged groups, is bracketed. The EU and Australia supported amended references to the vulnerability of those excluded from the socio-economic mainstream and decision-making. The US bracketed "documented" migrants. "Protection from illegal and forced evictions" is also bracketed.
C. SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS DEVELOPMENT IN AN URBANIZING WORLD
1. Introduction: Introductory references to urbanization and the rapid growth of mega-cities are bracketed. The following paragraphs outline the conditions for viable, equitable and sustainable settlements. Other bracketed language includes Local Agenda 21's emphasis on cooperation, participation of stakeholders, ecosystem carrying capacity, trade in hazardous waste and substances, and partnerships. The US and G-77 and China disagreed over the introduction of language on safe drinking water. Canada and the G-77 and China reformulated the language linking health and sustainable human settlements.
2. Sustainable land use: The chapeau describes competing demands for land use, access, and harmonizing urban areas with the natural environment. Bracketed references include: water management; discouraging hazardous industry in residential areas; prevention or minimization of industrial pollution; enforcement of land management; and an environmentally sound legal framework for the land market.
3. Eradication of poverty: The section links strategies for poverty eradication to the promotion of stable human settlements through macroeconomic policy, education and health. Bracketed action references include: integrated settlement policies ensuring equal access to basic services; schooling to promote cooperation among cultural groups; women's participation in community development; awareness of issues facing the homeless, especially physical and sexual abuse; CEDAW; youth; disability-sensitive planning and provisions; guarantee of basic education for all; and crime prevention through social development.
3 bis. Population and sustainable development: This paragraph, on population factors and sustainable human settlements, was introduced by Canada, and remains bracketed.
4. Environmentally sustainable [livable] and healthy human settlements: This section links sustainable human settlements to conditions for human health, including disparities and environmental conditions. Bracketed language includes: the chapeau, regarding education for all, and an alternative version; the disproportionate effect of environmental degradation on some groups; pollution risks in urban/low-income areas; unsustainable and wasteful production and consumption; the built environment; health indicators; planning and design; services with respect to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); appropriate technologies; environmental impact assessments; integrated approach to environmental services; actions to support a healthy environment in partnership with stakeholders; the precautionary principle; and the globalizing economy and transboundary pollution. The US asked the EU to define its preferred version of the "precautionary principle" and expressed a preference for the "precautionary approach." The G-77 and China described transboundary pollution hazards as a serious threat to the viability and health of human settlements and delegates negotiated language introduced by Mexico, based on a text from UNCED.
5. Sustainable energy use: This section notes that current dependence on fossil-fuel-based energy sources in most urban centres leads to climate change, air pollution, and consequential environmental and human health problems. Actions to promote sustainable energy use are recommended, including energy-pricing policies, energy-efficient systems, public education campaigns, and use of solar heating. This section was not considered by the Plenary, and it remains bracketed. The Subgroup, however, had agreed to everything except a reference to the fact that dependence on fossil-fuel-based energy sources [may] represent a serious threat to sustainable development. The EU preferred "can," but the G-77 and China supported "may."
6. Sustainable transport and communication systems: This section states that transport and communication systems are the key to the movement of goods, people, information and ideas, and that the transportation sector is a major consumer of non-renewable energy. Actions to achieve sustainable transport are identified, including an integrated transport policy approach, promoting disincentive measures to discourage private motorized traffic, and providing a public transport and communication system. This section was entirely agreed by the Subgroup, but was not considered by the Plenary and remains in brackets.
7. Conservation and rehabilitation of historical and cultural heritage: This section notes that historical places, objects and manifestations of cultural and scientific, symbolic, spiritual and religious values are important expressions of the culture, identity and religious beliefs of societies. Governments are invited to promote historical and cultural continuity by, among others, identifying and documenting the areas of significance, promoting financial and legal support for the protection of cultural heritage, and encouraging a role for older persons as custodians of cultural heritage. This section was also entirely agreed to by the Subgroup, but was not considered by the Plenary so it is bracketed.
8. Improving urban economies: This section notes that urban economies are integral to the process of economic transformation and development. Specific actions need to be taken to develop and maintain efficient and affordable transport, information and communications systems and linkages with other urban centres and with rural areas. Actions are called for to establish an effective financial base for urban development, provide opportunities for productive employment and private investment, provide opportunities for small businesses, strengthen urban economies, and alleviate the adverse impacts of measures for structural and economic transition. The Subgroup reached agreement on the text, but it was not considered in Plenary, so it remains bracketed.
9. Balanced development of settlements in rural regions: This section notes that policies and programmes for the sustainable development of rural areas that integrate these areas into the national economy require strong local and national institutions for the planning and management of human settlements. Actions are called for to promote the sustainable development of rural settlements and reduce rural-to-urban migration, promote new and improved technologies and appropriate traditional practices, establish policies for sustainable regional development and management, strengthen employment opportunities in impoverished rural areas, and achieve an integrated approach to balanced and mutually supportive urban-rural development. The Subgroup agreed on all but three references to "sustainable development" in this section. The Plenary did not consider the text, which remains in brackets.
10. Disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and post-disaster rehabilitation capabilities: This section notes that the impact on people and human settlements of natural and human-made disasters is increasing and that the reduction of vulnerability and an increase in the capacity to respond to disasters is related to the degree of decentralized access to information, communication and decision-making and the control of resources. Actions are noted to: improve natural and human-made disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response; prevent technological and industrial disasters; and prepare for and implement post-disaster relief. The Subgroup agreed on everything except a paragraph noting the need for resettlement of displaced populations as a result of the development and testing of nuclear weapons. The Plenary did not discuss this section, and it was entirely bracketed.
D. CAPACITY-BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This part of the text was not considered by the PrepCom due to lack of time and will be sent to Istanbul in the same form it was presented by the Intersessional Drafting Group in brackets. The text contains the following six sections: Introduction; Decentralization and strengthening of local authorities and their associations/networks; Participation, civic engagement and Government responsibility; Metropolitan planning and management; Domestic financial resources and economic instruments; and Information and communications.
E. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND COORDINATION
Due to lack of time, Working Group II could not review the results of the informal groups and Section E is entirely bracketed. The introductory section notes that international cooperation takes on added importance in light of recent trends in the globalization of the world economy and that the overall decline in ODA is a serious cause for concern. It also notes that considerable increases in private sector involvement indicate a shift from aid to trade, and highlight the need to involve the private sector in shaping international cooperation. During discussion on this section, debate centered on reaching a balance between the role of the public and private sectors. The G-77 and China made proposals that specifically noted the problems of developing countries, but the US objected that they overemphasized the role of the private sector and did not address the power of local communities. When the G-77 and China proposed a reference to the downward trend in official aid, the US proposed noting that implementation was the responsibility of each country. The EU proposed a new paragraph on decentralized cooperation that recognizes the capacity of local authorities to develop international relations and cooperation, but the G-77 and China objected. China offered a paragraph on the impacts of increased international migration.
The subsections cover enabling international context, financial resources and economic instruments and institutional cooperation. The Working Group convened a drafting group, chaired by Richard Butler (Australia), to synthesize proposals. Negotiations resulted in agreement on most of the section. Paragraphs on enabling international context discuss the link between urbanization and economic development and specific efforts to be undertaken by the international community, such as promoting coordination of macroeconomic policies and enterprise development. Brackets remain around references to "developing economies and economies in transition," the negative impact of migration, and support for refugees. Paragraphs on financial resources and economic instruments cover a wide range of topics, including official financial resources, partnerships on all levels, improved effectiveness of financial resources, private financial sources, existing and innovative economic instruments, and special financing needs and issues. Delegates bracketed a section that addresses the means for translating the commitments into financial implications.
Delegates also discussed, and bracketed, a paragraph on the use and transfer of environmentally sound technologies that have a profound impact on consumption patterns, a reference to enhancing the identification and dissemination of new technologies, and a reference to the role of UNCHS as a catalyst in technical cooperation. In the paragraph setting out specific steps for the international community, delegates bracketed references to placing steps "within existing resources," and bracketed a paragraph on activities of UNCHS. Under the subsection "institutional cooperation," delegates agreed to a paragraph noting the need for cooperation, but bracketed subsequent paragraphs that note that the Habitat text adds new elements to the agenda for international cooperation, and that implementation of Habitat II requires a coordinated framework and increased cooperation between UNCHS and other entities.
F. IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
This section discusses implementation at the national and international levels, tracking progress on the GPA, the use of indicators and best practices. The future role of the Commission on Human Settlements and its secretariat, UNCHS, was the focus of debate on questions of implementation and follow-up. The entire section remains in brackets. The G-77 and China made extensive proposals detailing ways to strengthen and expand UNCHS, while EU proposals called upon the Commission to "monitor" implementation. The G-77 and China said the reticence of other governments regarding UNCHS may stem from either an inadequate understanding of the organization or because it largely benefits developing countries. They said the EU proposals would undermine and practically abolish the Commission and UNCHS. When the EU proposed a drafting group on the issue, the G-77 and China stated that the "full house" should know the level of disagreement.
The US, the EU and the G-77 and China made numerous proposals for this section, and delegates debated at length the order and content of paragraphs. Negotiations revealed several fundamental differences, and the resulting text is largely a compilation of the EU and the G-77 and China proposals. This section includes a proposed paragraph on implementation at the national level. It notes that governments have the primary responsibility for implementing the GPA. The paragraph on implementation at the international level notes the main actors as the Commission and UNCHS, which the EU bracketed. The G-77 and China, in turn, bracketed all of Section F. Delegates also debated sub-paragraphs on the roles of UN organizations and bodies, such as the UN General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Administrative Committee on Coordination. The G-77 and China objected to an EU proposal that called upon the Secretary-General to ensure effective functioning of the UNCHS because the language implied that the Centre has not been functioning properly. The G-77 and China also proposed detailed roles for UNDP, ILO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNEP and others.
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