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CLOSING PLENARY

At 1:00 am on 15 June, delegates moved from the final meeting of Committee I to the Plenary Hall with their watches stopped at midnight. Habitat II President S´┐Żleyman Demirel opened the meeting and called on the Rapporteur, Ricardo Gorosito, to introduce the report of the Conference (A/CONF.165/L.4 and Add.1). Delegates adopted the report and authorized the Rapporteur to finalize it for submission to the 51st General Assembly.

Delegates then considered the report of Committee II (A/CONF.165/L.5 and Add. 1-11), as presented by the Chairperson, Martti Lujanen (Finland). He noted that the UN has traditionally relied on intergovernmental cooperation to solve the world’s problems. Habitat II was the first opportunity for partners to engage in a dialogue with governmental delegates, and delegates should be proud of the break with past UN procedures.

COLOMBIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, asked how the Committee II report would be annexed to the Report of the Conference. He was told that it would be included in the report and the Plenary would take note of it. IRAN stated that the text was not negotiated and could not be part of the final report. He suggested that it be included in a second document, which would be referenced in the final report. Secretary-General WALLY N’DOW noted that the partners were invited by the GA to participate in the Committee, and that “we cannot build a new heaven and new earth” using status quo methods. He suggested that the Secretariat consult with members designated by Iran to find a new pathway for the report. Delegates took note of the report, which they noted is non- binding. The PHILIPPINES noted that points it had raised during Committee II regarding migrant workers and indigenous peoples were not reflected in the Chairperson’s summaries.

Delegates then considered the adoption of the Istanbul Declaration and the Habitat Agenda. The Chair of the Istanbul Declaration Drafting Group, Balkan Kazildeli (Turkey) and the Chair of Committee I, Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan), presented the results of their groups. Delegates agreed to delete bracketed text in paragraphs 27(a) and 27(f) bis regarding activities in territories under foreign occupation. CUBA noted that the text to be adopted was consistent with previously adopted texts, and stated that all are aware of that unilateral measures can damage the economic and social development of a country. COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, introduced resolution A/CONF.165/L.7, calling for the adoption of the Declaration and the Habitat Agenda, which was adopted by acclamation.

The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the Asian Group, noted the historical partnership between national and local governments, parliamentarians and others that occurred at Habitat II.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, introduced A/CONF.165/L.3, Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Turkey, which was adopted by acclamation.

COLOMBIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, noted that hopes for the transfer of technology and know-how have not emerged strengthened from Habitat II, and that the future of the UN Centre for Human Settlements seems uncertain. He recognized that the Conference did achieve positive results, such as the reaffirmation of the right to housing for all and the need to relieve the distress of those who live in poverty.

ITALY, on behalf of the EU, stated that partnerships were strengthened at Habitat II and international cooperation will increasingly lean on these forces.

SOUTH AFRICA, on behalf of the African States, noted that the active participation of all development partners, especially women, have made Habitat II a success. Implementation of the Habitat Agenda in Africa will be more successful if the role of UNCHS is recognized.

URUGUAY, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, noted that his Group is committed to the goals, principles and strategies adopted in Istanbul. He hoped that the same energy that has been put into the discussions and that has prompted delegates to work at this late hour would help translate principles into practice.

The US, on behalf the Western European and Others Group, noted that delegates to Habitat II “refused to fail.” He thanked all partners in the negotiations and said he looked forward to returning home to begin the implementation process.

The SUDAN, on behalf of the Arab States, stated that the deliberations show that mankind is capable of resolving its problems through dialogue. MOROCCO said that the Conference is historic for Arab countries, who have had close contact with their partners in Africa and the North. He stated he would like to see UNCHS strengthened, because implementation requires coordinators.

ROMANIA, on behalf of the Central and Eastern European region, thanked all involved with Habitat II.

Secretary-General Wally N’Dow noted that Habitat II has been a people’s conference in every way, and hoped that its example would bring about a more representative process in the way international business is conducted. He called for a shift from military budgets for the “old” international security into areas that compose a new definition of security. UNCHS looks forward to its role in implementing the Habitat Agenda and he thanked those who recommended strengthening the Centre. He expressed hope that when the Commission on Human Settlements meets next year the partners will be “part and parcel of the process,” as bona fide members. He also paid tribute to the women’s movement, and noted especially the extraordinary efforts of Bella Abzug, “a campaigner for humanity.”

Habitat II President S´┐Żleyman Demirel noted that it is time to transform words into deeds. Coordination and monitoring of implementation will rest mainly on the UN system, particularly on the Centre for Human Settlements and the Commission on Human Settlements. The UN restructuring process should not adversely affect the functioning of these bodies. The consensus reached on “the right to adequate housing” was a noteworthy accomplishment of the Conference. He then declared the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements closed at 3:20 am.

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