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Interviews from Habitat II in Istanbul

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Nitin Desai, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development

At the conclusion of the Habitat II Conference, Under-Secretary General Nitin Desai visited with the ENB team in Istanbul. In this interview he speaks on the significance of Habitat II in relationship to the other conferences during this decade. He speaks of their role in defining development cooperation and the "appropriate space" for public policy. Desai also talks about the emphasis of local action, the role of local authorities and the identification of "good practices" as we are moving into an implementation stage.

Marcela Nicodemus, Drafting Group Chair

Marcela Nicodemus of Brazil chaired the drafting group that reached an agreement on the right to adequate housing for the Habitat Agenda. She spoke Saturday 8 June with ENB editors Kira Schmidt and Steve Wise about the process of reaching agreement, the shift in positions and flexibility since PrepCom III and the potential impact of the agreement on national housing policies.

(total length: 7:07)

Nicodemus said the impact of Habitat II agreeing on a right to adequate housing will depend on how governments implement the decision in their own policies.

Shafqat Kakakhel, Committee I Chair

Shafqat Kakakhel of Pakistan was elected chair of Committee I. Also serving as chair of the Committee's Working Group I, Kakakhel is overseeing the negotiation of the Habitat Agenda, the main output of Habitat II. He spoke Friday, 7 June with ENB editors Peter Doran and Steve Wise about his frustration with the slow pace of negotiations, the lack of substantive disagreements and the likelihood that delegates will need to extend their work into the high level session set to begin on Tuesday.

(total length: 6:50)

Kakakhel said he is disappointed but not hopeless about progress in negotiation of the Habitat Agenda

Ambassador T. P. Sreenivasan, India

Sreenivasan said there are a number of ways to solve the disagreement about economic growth and sustainable development, and Habitat II much choose among them.
Amb. T.P. Sreenivasan is High Commissioner of India to Kenya and is serving as the spokesperson for the G-77/China in Working Group II, which is responsible for negotating financial and implementation issues in the Habitat Agenda. He spoke Wednesday 5 June with ENB editors Lynn Wagner and Steve Wise about the roots of the ongoing debate over the priority of economic growth within sustainable development, the need to resolve the issue within the context of human settlements and its relationship with other undecided matters at Habitat II. (total length: 5:20)

Klaus T�pfer, Head of Delegation, Germany

T�pfer (center) consults with other delegates at Habitat II
Former German Environment Minister and Chair of the Second UN Commission on Sustainable Development Klaus T�pfer spoke 2 June with Earth Negotiations Bulletin Editor Peter Doran after Sunday's informal consultations prior to the official opening of Habitat II. T�pfer discussed the need to develop a "politically binding agreement" in Istanbul, the relationship between human settlements and security, and the prospects for results from the Conference. (total length: 6:40)

Listen here for RealAudio interviews from PrepCom III