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WORKING GROUP II

E. International cooperation and coordination: At the suggestion of the G- 77/CHINA, delegates merged 156 and 156bis to note that the Habitat Agenda adds new elements to the agenda for national actions and international cooperation, and that implementation should take place in a coordinated framework.

The G-77/CHINA proposed a new 156ter, which states that the nature of urban and rural challenges requires better coordination between governments, international bodies, multilateral and bilateral partners, and more effective cooperation between UNCHS and entities within and outside the UN system. The US added "governments at all levels," and the EU proposed "local authorities and civil society." The EU bracketed the reference to UNCHS pending the outcome of Section F (follow-up and implementation). The G-77/CHINA bracketed the entire paragraph rather than only the UNCHS reference.

In 157 (chapeau) (action by UN system), the EU and the US supported retaining the bracketed reference to "where appropriate." The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting the reference. During discussion of 157(d), ZAMBIA proposed that action be taken "within the legal, institutional and policy frameworks of each country." AUSTRALIA, the US and the EU stated that "where appropriate" in the chapeau covered this concern. Delegates included "in accordance with the legal framework of each country" and "where appropriate" in the chapeau.

In 157(d) (cooperation with civil society), delegates added a LOCAL AUTHORITY-proposed reference to cooperation with associations and networks of local authorities. The US added 150(e)bis, calling for public-private partnerships in socially and environmentally responsible community investment programmes.

Delegates returned to 145ter (international migration) during the afternoon. MEXICO proposed text noting that international migration can facilitate the transfer of skills and contribute to cultural enrichment and that it may give rise to racism and acts of violence against migrants. The US and UAE objected to the part regarding racism, which was deleted.

F. Implementation and follow-up of the Global Plan of Action: At the end of the morning session, the Chair opened the floor for statements from regional groups on Section F. The EU said there were many rumors regarding the EU position on follow-up. He said his position provides a comprehensive role for the Commission and UNCHS. The mandate of both organs should be carefully considered and the Commission should give its advice on the mandates to ECOSOC, which will review all commissions next year. He said it was impossible to look at the mandates during this Conference. The substance of the GPA must first be agreed, and steps to implement the commitments must then be considered by the Commission, ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The US also noted rumors on its position since PrepCom III, but stated that it remains unchanged. There can be no effective substitute for UNCHS and the Commission, nor can there be a substitute for refocusing all UN institutions. The GPA should be completed to determine what must be done, and then the determination should be made on who will do it.

CANADA noted that the Habitat Agenda goes beyond shelter and urban issues. The review should be conducted through ECOSOC, possibly in a report from the Conference, and ultimately in the UNGA. He said delegates should not discuss specific mandates on an Agenda that is not yet complete.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said the functioning of these organizations must be improved and their mandates must be reviewed carefully. UNCHS should play an active role in areas such as the exchange of experiences and expert review of large-scale projects.

The G-77/CHINA noted that there have been rumors, but they have a "ring of authenticity" based on past experiences. At the Rio Conference, the G-77/CHINA emphasized the importance of environmental issues, but UNEP became less important and its resources declined. He expressed concern that a similar fate would befall UNCHS. The Conference knows the shape the Agenda will take, and can reaffirm the central role of UNCHS in implementation and its need for greater resources. He noted that development agencies such as UNIDO, UNCTAD and UNCHS are often "victims" of reform and restructuring because they benefit primarily developing countries. A political message must emanate from Istanbul, and UNCHS must remain in a developing country in Africa.

During the afternoon, the US suggested clearing up outstanding text in Section E. The G- 77/CHINA noted its understanding that the Group would begin consideration of Section F. The US called for adjournment so that the Vinci Group could consult. The G- 77/CHINA noted that they adjourned reluctantly.

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