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Late Breaking News on Habitat II

Last updated 8 June 1996 --

Drafting Group chair Marcela Nicodemus of Brazil produced an agreement on the "right to housing" that participants are calling a breakthrough

The drafting group on the "right to housing" produced preliminary agreement Friday on language for several paragraphs that were expected to be among the most difficult to negotiate in the Habitat Agenda. The drafting group's text reaffirms a commitment to "the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing" as set out in international instruments and recognizes "the obligation of Governments to enable people to obtain shelter and to protect and improve dwellings and neighbourhoods." Another paragraph states that "All Governments without exception have a responsibility in the shelter sector." Delegates in Committee I's Working Group I are expected to review the drafting group's language Saturday.

Working Group I dealt with sections of the Global Plan of Action under sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world, while Working Group II took up structural adjustments, the effectiveness of overseas development assistance and effectiveness of public and private resources. The drafting group on the Istanbul Declaration decided to consider Monday a shorter, more focused version of a compilation draft presented on Friday.

In the corridors, proponents of strong language on housing rights praised the drafting group's agreement and the possibility that it could lead to progress in related negotiations. At the same time, it appears that negotiations on the Habitat Agenda will spill into the high-level session scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Details on debate from the Conference's fifth day are in Saturday's Earth Negotiations Bulletin's from Habitat II.

Editor's Note: The ENB's photo coverage has been at least temporarily interrupted. Our roving camera was last seen touring Istanbul, all by itself in the back of a taxi where I left it. Stay tuned. (-=- sw)
To catch up on the Conference to date, check out Late Breaking News from

We will continue our live coverage of Habitat II through 19 June. We have recorded RealAudio interviews and daily issues in English and French of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. More pictures (maybe) and sound coming soon. Stay tuned!!

ENB will not be covering most of the Plenary statements. These statements and press releasesare available on the Conference Secretariat's WWW site.

Here is the conference document that is being debated in Istanbul.


The Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) ended in New York during February. Although the spirit of negotiation was good, procedural bottlenecks and the volume of work to be finished produced less than favorable results.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin prepared a comprehensive summary of the Third Session of the PrepCom, which includes an analysis of the process through PrepCom 3.

In addition, we have posted RealAudio recordings of the final statements If you have any late-breaking news, updates or recent material on Habitat II, send us e-mail at enb@igc.apc.org

We published daily issues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletinin French and English from New York. Our daily issues are 2000-word summaries of the official proceedings.

Here is a link to the UN's gopher for press releases on Human Settlements.