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WORKING GROUP II

E. International cooperation and coordination: The Chair presented a compilation text for 150(f) (structural adjustments). The G-77/CHINA proposed that investment programmes take account of "human settlement," rather than "local urban" development priorities. LOCAL AUTHORITIES, supported by the US and the EU, suggested inserting "local human settlement" development priorities. Delegates agreed to "local, urban and rural" priorities.

The LOCAL AUTHORITIES proposed a new subparagraph to follow 150(k) calling for the strengthening of their decentralized development assistance programmes.

In 150(l) (effectiveness of ODA), the G-77/CHINA deleted the reference to "existing" ODA, and added text noting that ODA is a small proportion of a country’s resources for human development but can play an important complementary and catalytic role in promoting adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements. The US stated that text from the Agenda for Development should not be used.

In 150(m) (effectiveness of public and private resources), delegates called for increased access to housing and services for "all people, particularly those" living in poverty. In 150(n) (military expenditures), NORWAY, supported by the G- 77/CHINA, proposed NGO language on land mines and reduced spending and trafficking. The US, supported by SWITZERLAND, suggested language on pursuing an international agreement to ban use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. The G- 77/CHINA objected to an international agreement on land mines due to "lack of technical know-how." NORWAY requested time for consideration.

In 150(o) (utilizing national experts), the G-77/CHINA and the US proposed accepting the existing text, which calls for preference for national or regional experts, as well as for developing country experts. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION proposed including a reference to countries with economies in transition. The US said the language, from the WSSD, refers to using local experts when available. The G-77/CHINA said the paragraph should not be further diluted. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested time for consultation.

In 150(q) (measures for reducing disaster vulnerability), the EU noted that the measures should be for projects "including those" financed by the international community. The US proposed calling for construction of buildings that are accessible to persons with disabilities. In 150(r) (economic policies to promote savings), the EU added "implement" to "develop" policies, but the G-77/CHINA objected. In 150(s) (strengthen assistance for community-based development), the US called for "promoting responsible reinvestments in local communities." The G-77/CHINA proposed "socially responsible." In 150(w) (facilitating foreign private sector investment), INDONESIA added a reference to private-public joint ventures and partnerships. The G-77/CHINA deleted the example of "build, operate, transfer (BOT)."

In 150(x) (equitable pricing mechanisms), the EU said the paragraph should focus on implementation and proposed deleting a reference to assisting developing countries. The G-77/CHINA said the proposal shifts the purpose of the paragraph. Delegates accepted a US proposal that calls for implementing pricing mechanisms for adequate shelter infrastructure and services and assisting countries, in particular developing countries, for that purpose. The G-77/CHINA accepted the change, but noted its concession.

In 150(aa) and (bb) (special financing needs and issues / vulnerable groups), several delegations noted the overlap between these paragraphs and others in the Habitat Agenda. The US proposed awaiting Working Group I’s work on these issues.

The G-77/CHINA added a subparagraph that assigns high priority to the needs of African countries and least developed countries in implementing the objectives of Habitat II. The US proposed alternative WSSD text for 150(dd) (implementation in Small Island Developing States). Subparagraph 150(ee) (provide assistance to land-locked countries) was agreed with a US amendment calling for "support" to neighbor transit developing countries. Subparagraph 150(ff) (20/20 compact) was agreed and 150(gg) (soft loans and grants) was deleted.

In 151 (transfer of technology), text regarding UNCHS and international property rights was left pending resolution of similar text. The Working Group continued negotiations during an evening meeting.

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