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 Istanbul+5 PrepCom II
Nairobi, Kenya; 19-23 February 2001

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MONDAY, 19 FEBRUARY: The second and final substantive session of the preparatory committee for Istanbul+5 (PrepCom II) commenced in Nairobi at the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS) with opening speeches and adoption of the agenda. Plenary then heard statements on the preparation of a draft report on the overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. The Committee of the Whole (COW) considered proposals on structuring discussions among the various Habitat Agenda partners, and on the recommendations of the Commission on Human Settlements (CHS) at its 18th session and of the year 2000 coordinating segment of the Economic and Social Council.

In his opening remarks, Chair Germ�n Garcia-Dur�n (Colombia) outlined expectations of the PrepCom, called for concrete and practical outcomes, and asked delegates to show flexibility and tolerance during negotiations. He highlighted draft resolutions submitted to the PrepCom on the special session�s organization of work and on the promotion of family support policies in the review and appraisal of the Habitat Agenda.

RealAudio excerpts of Chair's opening statement

Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UNCHS (Habitat), said Istanbul+5 must address the need for new political realities and partnerships in an era of global technological innovation, and highlighted various initiatives, including: efforts to improve and revitalize the CHS; new approaches to issues of secure tenure and urban governance; the establishment of an Advisory Committee of Local Authorities; and improved coordination with UNEP.

RealAudio excerpts of Executive Director's statement:
part one  part two

View from the press gallery of the packed Plenary hall.

In the beezeways...

On the first day of the PrepCom, the issue of a World Charter on Local Self-Government that persisted throughout the Habitat II process resurfaced during the general debate. While some participants would like the proposed charter to be discussed more formally later this week, others say its proponents are very few, and that in light of the large opposition to such a charter expressed at the CHS meeting last week, many seem to prefer sweeping the issue under the carpet. However, some think that with the high presence of mayors at the PrepCom the subject is likely to be revived and that even if the issue is not resolved at this session, it is likely to be raised again at the UNGASS.

Above right: at the UN compound at Gigiri, buildings are not separated by closed corridors, instead they are linked by open breezeways.
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