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Habitat II will fold neatly into the global policy agenda articulated and launched during the cycle of UN conferences dealing with children, the environment, human rights, population and development, social development and women. For example, the Habitat Agenda takes up and integrates environmental (UNCED) and population issues (ICPD) in the specific context of urbanization. In Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai’s words: “The Habitat Agenda forces us to address issues on an integrated and local basis, something which is a logical development of many ideas which surfaced earlier."

The Agenda, accompanied by a commitment to local implementation, gives a timely momentum to the anticipated new phase in the UN’s engagement with its emerging global constituencies (local authorities, women’s movements, community-based organizations, business and trade unions) as the international community grapples to respond to the ambivalent twins of globalization and trade liberalization. Habitat II represents the latest stage in the UN’s project to re-define the traditional security agenda in the knowledge that the emerging insecurities posed by environmental, social and economic problems coincide with the causes of unsustainability.