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This chapter commits States participating in Habitat II to a political, economic, environmental, ethical and spiritual vision of human settlements based on the principles of equality, solidarity, partnership, human dignity, respect and cooperation. Commitments are undertaken at the national, local and international levels.

During the final day of the Conference, a new paragraph was added to the beginning of this chapter as part of a package deal on references to reproductive health care. The new paragraph is a compromise between Cairo language, supported by the G-77/CHINA and the HOLY SEE, and Beijing language, supported by the EU and the US. It states that: the objectives of the Habitat Agenda are in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and international law; it is the duty of all States to promote and protect human rights; and implementation is the sovereign right and responsibility of each State, with full respect for various religious and ethical values, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions.

Another issue resolved in the final hours of the Conference and contained in this chapter was the bracketed reference to the destructive nature of civil, ethnic and religious strife, nuclear armament, armed conflict, alien and colonial domination, foreign occupation, international economic imbalance, coercive economic measures, poverty and organized crime. The US opposed the text, but several members of the Arab Group supported it. The final compromise deleted references to nuclear armament, armed conflict, “international” economic imbalance and coercive economic measures, and added a call for the elimination of unilateral measures. Additional references to foreign occupation in Chapter III (Commitments) were also removed.

A reference to “the right to inheritance,” in the context of equal access to resources, was removed from brackets after delegates were informed that it had been taken from the Beijing Platform for Action. Discussion on a reference to “various forms of the family” in the original draft included a statement by MALTA that reopening this issue could derail the entire Conference. The G-77/CHINA, with BRAZIL dissenting, wanted to delete the reference. The EU, NORWAY and BRAZIL said the language had been taken from the WSSD and other UN conferences. Delegates agreed to recognize that in different cultural, political and social systems, various forms of the family exist. The US and CANADA introduced a new paragraph on education and health care, and CANADA proposed, on behalf of the NGOs, a principle emphasizing environmental health.

The rest of this chapter addresses: commitment to human rights set out in international instruments, including the right to adequate housing; equitable settlements with access to facilities without discrimination; eradication of poverty; sustainable human settlements incorporating the Rio principles; quality of life, including economic, social, environmental and cultural factors; strengthening of the family; citizenship and identity; cooperation and dialogue; partnerships among countries and among domestic actors; solidarity with those belonging to the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups; and primary health services consistent with the Report of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

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