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Istanbul+5 UNGASS
UN Headquarters, New York,
6-8 June 2001

UPDATE: Friday, 8 June and Saturday, 9 June

The Thematic Committee met for the last time on Friday morning, and discussed its conclusions before finishing its work at 1 pm. In the afternoon, Habeddine Belaid (Tunisia), Chair of the Thematic Committee, presented the report of the Committee to the General Assembly.

Delegates continued their negotiation in the informal group  all of Friday, and "informal informal" negotiations continued into the night. While the session was suspended and most  delegates spent the early hours of Saturday waiting for an outcome, a few delegations (including the US, Israel, Palestine and Iran for G-77/China) took turns meeting in private with the President of the GA in his chambers. Later, Norway acted as moderator of the discussions.
ENB Summary
Mon 11

ENB Daily Reports
Mon 4
Wed 6
Thu 7
Fri  8

Daily Web Coverage
(Images and RealAudio)
Mon 4 Tue 5
Wed 6 Thu 7

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Waiting Game:


At 5 am, Chair García-Durán announced that consensus had been achieved and introduced the compromise text (left). It includes amended language on occupied territories, a paragraph on terrorism and a chapeau, which is the former Paragraph 1. 

Delegates adopted the text without debate, and forwarded it to the Committee of the Whole.

At 6:15 AM, Andrzej Olszowka (Poland), Vice-Chair of the COW, chaired the final session of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole. Delegates considered, and adopted, the Draft Report of the COW (A/S-25/AC.1/L.1, L.1/ add.1-5) and the Draft Declaration on cities and other human settlements (A/S-25/AC.1/L.2) without debate, and forwarded it to Plenary. Olszowka thanked Chair Germán García-Durán (Colombia), for his able chairmanship of the informal negotiations and formally concluded the work of the COW at 6:30 AM.  

At 6:40 am, GA President Holkeri called to order the Closing Plenary of the UNGASS in the General Assembly Hall. Alireza Esamaeilzadeh, Rapporteur for the COW, presented, and delegated adopted, the Report of the COW (A/S-25/AC.1/L.1, L.1/ add.1-5) and the Draft Declaration on cities and other human settlements (A/S-25/AC.1/L.2).

Israel noted its reservation on the new paragraphs on occupied territories.
Egypt maintained its reservation from Istanbul on "various forms of the family", and Saudi Arabia reiterated its reservations from Istanbul on "the items that contradict Islam."
The US, supported by Israel, welcomed the new text on terrorism, and expressed regret that yet another UN conference on a thematic matter had become politicized. He hoped that a better and more efficient way to work could be found in the future.
Palestine said that the consensus achieved was a significant achievement and that it would be a guide for Partner's activities for the years to come.
Iran, on behalf of the G-77/China, thanked President Holkeri for his personal involvement in the success of the UNGASS, and wished him a long and happy life.

In his closing statement, President Holkeri expressed satisfaction with the constructive and cooperative spirit that prevailed throughout the Special Session and the difficult negotiations. After a minute of silence for prayer or meditation (above left), President Holkeri gaveled the 25th Special Session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) to a close at 7 am.

ENB in Action:
Above left photo (L-R): ENB writers Leila Mead and Tonya Barnes interview Manfred Konukiewitz (Germany), Chair of the Drafting Committee during the PrepComs. Above right photo (L-R): Habeddine Belaid (Tunisia), Chair of the Thematic Committee shares his insights with Tonya Barnes

Habitat-related links:

ENB's coverage of the Istanbul+5 Prepcom II (Nairobi, February 2001)
Official UNCHS Istanbul+5 website, with documents
18th Session of the UN Commission on Human Settlements
UNCHS Press Releases
ENB Coverage of Habitat II (1996)

© 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.