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

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Tuesday, 20 February: The second session of the preparatory committee for Istanbul+5 (PrepCom II) resumed during its second day of deliberations at the UNCHS in Nairobi. Delegates offered comments, in morning and afternoon Plenary sessions, on the draft declaration on cities and other human settlements in the new millennium, and the Committee of the Whole (COW) met in the afternoon to debate agenda items pertaining to the special session. The Drafting Committee also met informally in the afternoon to discuss procedure for moving forward on negotiating the outcome document. Above left: signs announcing PrepCom II at the entrance of the Gigiri compound.

African delegates walking past the Registration desk.

Confusion reigned and the drafting committee never convened for its morning session as delegates met in huddles trying to agree on participation of NGO's. See "In the breezeways", below.

In the beezeways...

Mass confusion erupted over procedure as the Drafting Committee attempted to begin its work. Before the meeting could get under way, conflict arose over UN rules of procedure regarding the presence of NGO observers, and whether the Committee was a formal body of the PrepCom. Some participants accused the countries vehemently opposed to NGO participation of trying to sabotage the process, and expressed the fear that attempts to exclude NGOs would be setting a precedent for the special session, which they saw as backtracking from Habitat II. However, others felt that a smaller group would ensure that work is completed more effectively and efficiently. Some delegates commented that in attempting to exclude NGOs, a whole morning of work had already been wasted. Additional exclusionary efforts also incited conflict in the COW, as a few countries objected to allotting speaking slots for Habitat partners during the Plenary of the special session, resulting in similar accusations from those with an interest in full participation. (see photo, above).

Above right: at the UN compound at Gigiri, buildings are not separated by closed corridors, instead they are linked by open breezeways.
Left, and below: UNCHS has lined the breezeways of Gigiri with numerous habitat-related posters and informational displays.
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