United Nations

A/51/384


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

20 September 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/384
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 96 (e)


              SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC
                        COOPERATION:  HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

         Implementation of and follow-up to the outcome of the United
             Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II)

                        Report of the Secretary-General

                                     SUMMARY

     The present report has been prepared pursuant to General Assembly
resolution 50/100 of 20 December 1995 in which the Assembly invited
the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its fifty-first
session on the implementation of and follow-up to the outcome of the
United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).  The
report draws on documentation emanating from the Conference - the
Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Habitat Agenda,
commitments of major groups and national plans of action, and major
reviews of conditions and trends - that is relevant to national and
international strategies for action, and to the roles and
responsibilities of the various partners in development, including the
United Nations system.

     The Habitat Agenda, adopted by consensus at Habitat II in
Istanbul, recognizes that progress in creating adequate shelter for
all and sustainable human settlements will ultimately depend upon the
full mobilization of civil society.  Its implementation will take
place largely at the local level and must involve a variety of
partners.  Accordingly, the Habitat Agenda proposes strategies that
emphasize the empowerment of people and the building of effective
participatory institutions, especially at the local level.  A high
priority envisaged for the United Nations system is to help national
Governments and their partners at all levels attain these strategic
objectives.

     Because the United Nations system plays a predominantly
supporting or facilitating role in shelter and settlements
development, it will be necessary for national and local priorities for
assistance to be further elaborated before the substantive character of United
Nations follow-up to Habitat II can be fully defined.  At the same time,
during the preparatory process for the Conference, 124 countries
submitted national reports and 100 of those reports contained
five-year national plans of action in which priorities for assistance
were outlined.  A summary of needs as expressed in those plans was
used to help focus the initial recommendations in this report.  (See
the note by the Secretariat transmitting the report of the Secretary-
General on national reports and national plans of action
(A/CONF.165/CRP.5), presented to the Conference, in Istanbul, 3-14
June 1996.)  The continuation of national planning processes, to which
priorities for national action and international assistance must be
related, is one of the essential requirements for effective
implementation and follow-up.

     One of the main characteristics of Habitat II was its way of
introducing innovative mechanisms to forge a set of partnerships
between the United Nations and organizations representing the civil
society.  Encouraged by the Habitat II secretariat, national
committees included among their members representatives of local
authorities and other major groups.  Across the world, local,
national, regional and global partners sponsored and participated in
workshops, conferences, round-table meetings and other dialogues on
human settlements issues.  At the Conference itself, an array of
"parallel activities" served to crystallize the positions of local
authorities and of various groups around issues being debated by
national delegations in connection with the elaboration of the Habitat
Agenda in Committee I.  These positions, indicating the partners'
commitments and strategies to implement the Habitat Agenda, were then
presented to Committee II of the Conference in its hearings meetings. 
These hearings, by helping to define the interests, abilities and
potential roles of different groups of partners, introduced new
relationships into the human settlements and shelter development
equation, at both the national and international levels, which the
United Nations system must now help develop further, inter alia, by
becoming itself more systematic in promoting participatory processes,
more comprehensive in its approach to the problems of human
settlements, and more inclusive in its activities.

     This report endeavours to identify, on the basis of the
recommendations emanating from the Conference, the institutional
arrangements, substantive activities and coordinating mechanisms that
should enable the United Nations system to respond effectively to the
outcome of Habitat II.


                                   CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION .........................................     1 - 4     4

II.   RESULTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON HUMAN
      SETTLEMENTS (HABITAT II) .............................     5 - 16    5

      A. Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements ........      6 - 9     5

      B. The Habitat Agenda ...............................     10 - 14    6

      C. Partners' expectations ...........................     15 - 16    7

III.  IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP .........................    17 - 46    8

      A. National level ...................................     18 - 23    8

      B. Regional/subregional level .......................     24 - 25   10

      C. International level ..............................     26 - 44   10

         1.   General Assembly .............................       28     11

         2.   Economic and Social Council ..................    29 - 30   11

         3.   Commission on Human Settlements ..............       31     11

         4.   Other subsidiary bodies of the Economic and
              Social Council ...............................    32 - 34   12

         5.   United Nations system organizations ..........    35 - 40   13

         6.   United Nations Secretariat arrangements ......    41 - 44   15

      D. Involvement of local authorities and civil
         society, including the private sector ............     45 - 46   16

IV.   ACTION REQUIRED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ..............       47     16

Annex.  AREAS OF COLLABORATION BETWEEN HABITAT AND COMPONENTS OF THE
        UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM ..........................................  19


                               I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   In its resolution 47/180 of 22 December 1992, the General
Assembly, concerned that people's living environments were
deteriorating and in urgent need of concerted international attention,
decided to convene the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(Habitat II) in 1996 and to establish a preparatory committee for the
Conference, and requested the Secretary-General to establish an ad hoc
secretariat for the Conference.  In its resolution 50/100 of 20
December 1995, the Assembly, having considered the report of the
Preparatory Committee for the Conference on its second substantive
session, 1/ together with the report of the Secretary-General on
preparations for the Conference (A/50/519), invited the
Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its fifty-first session
on the implementation of and follow-up to the outcome of the
Conference undertaken by the organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system, including the role played by the United Nations Centre
for Human Settlements (Habitat) in that process.  The present report
has been prepared pursuant to that invitation.

2.   The timing of Habitat II, held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 3 to 14
June 1996, meant that the Conference became the last in a series of
United Nations conferences dealing with global issues of special
importance to human welfare, ranging from environmental
sustainability, human rights and the effects of disasters, to the
welfare of children, population growth, social development, the
advancement of women, and trade and development.  This series of
global conferences have proved invaluable in raising awareness of
human and environmental conditions around the world and in enjoining
national Governments and the international community to act to improve
those conditions.

3.   In deciding to convene a conference on human settlements, the
General Assembly gave recognition to the fundamental notion that it is
within our settlements - our cities, towns and villages - that many
issues of common importance to human welfare converge.  It is in their
settlements that people learn to live together in peace and solidarity
and where the array of seemingly distinct problems become socially and
politically interrelated.  It is thus in settlements that several of
the principles, commitments, plans and programmes resulting from the
various global conferences of the past decade will be realized. 
Habitat II was thus from this point of view a challenge to Member
States to further translate many of the statements of principle and
commitment made in various global conferences into concerted action. 
This challenge is articulated in the Habitat Agenda 2/ (embodying the
goals and principles, commitments and global plan of action adopted by
the Conference) which addresses capacity-building, institutional
development, international cooperation, implementation and follow-up.

4.   The main message arising from Habitat II is the proposition that
the matrix of human development problems can find a resolution through
civic engagement, popular participation, solidarity and partnership;
public-spirited leadership; the generation, transfer and application
of knowledge and expertise; and the mobilization and effective
management of available resources at all levels.  To be an effective
agent in the struggle to improve people's lives and living
environments, the United Nations must itself become a stronger and
more open system so as to epitomize commitment to achieving these same
objectives.


              II.  RESULTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON HUMAN
                   SETTLEMENTS (HABITAT II)

5.   The substantive outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human
Settlements (Habitat II) is embodied in two major documents adopted by
the Conference:  (a) the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements 3/
and (b) the Habitat Agenda, comprising goals and principles,
commitments and global plan of action.


                 A.  Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements

6.   Adopted by consensus at Habitat II, the Istanbul Declaration on
Human Settlements is a concise 15-paragraph document that expresses
the political commitment of heads of the State or Government and
delegations participating in the Conference to implement the Habitat
Agenda.  Although this document was not specifically mandated by the
General Assembly in its resolution 47/180 as an output of Habitat II,
delegations considered that such a document was needed to provide (a)
an eloquent yet simple statement on the goals of Habitat II and on its
results and (b) a call to action at the highest political level in
implementing the Habitat Agenda.

7.   The Istanbul Declaration acknowledges the positive role of human
settlements as well as the major challenges to their sustainability. 
While recognizing the global spread of human settlements-related
issues and problems, the Istanbul Declaration is mindful of the fact
that contextual variations from country to country call for national
and local implementation of the Habitat Agenda.  It takes into account
the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and reaffirms, among
other things, the "commitment to the full and progressive realization
of the right to adequate housing as provided for in international
instruments".  The Istanbul Declaration sets forth the commitment of
Member States to improving the quality of the living environment by
furthering a series of objectives including sustainable patterns of
consumption and production, pollution prevention, and respect for the
carrying capacity of ecosystems.

8.   The Istanbul Declaration strongly endorses the enabling strategy
embodied in the Habitat Agenda and the principles of partnership and
participation as "the most democratic and effective approach" to
implementing it.  It makes a commitment to decentralization and
capacity-building, while ensuring transparency, accountability and
responsiveness to the needs of people, especially at the local level. 
Finally, the Istanbul Declaration reiterates the financial commitments
set out in recent United Nations conferences and calls for the role
and functions of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
(Habitat) to be strengthened, "taking into account the need for the
Centre to focus on well-defined and thoroughly developed objectives
and strategic issues".

9.   The Istanbul Declaration is a strong statement of policy among
States to the effect that the principles, commitments, objectives and
actions embodied in the Habitat Agenda are immediate priorities for
the international community.  It thus provides further impetus for
moving the development agenda forward with a renewed sense of urgency.


                            B.  The Habitat Agenda

10.  It will be recalled that, in response to the vast array of global
human settlements problems calling for concrete remedial action, the
General Assembly, in deciding to convene Habitat II, also decided that
the Conference should have as one of its main objectives the adoption
of a general statement of principles and commitments and the
formulation of "a related global plan of action capable of guiding
national and international efforts through the first two decades of
the next century" (Assembly resolution 47/180, para. 2 (b)).  After a
two-year process of preparation, deliberation and negotiation, Habitat
II, in fulfilment of its mandate, adopted a set of goals, principles
and commitments and a global plan of action, based on interrelated
strategies for implementation, all of which together constitute, in
the terminology of the Conference, the Habitat Agenda.

11.  The Habitat Agenda recalls the fact that human settlements are
both a powerful force for human development and the source of many
problems.  Having set out, in a number of principles and commitments,
guidelines for making settlements healthier, safer, more humane and
sustainable, the Habitat Agenda then proposes a comprehensive set of
objectives and actions, based on two themes:  (a) adequate shelter for
all and (b) sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing
world.  The Habitat Agenda elaborates the substance of these two
themes by proposing two basic strategies for implementation: 
(a) enablement and participation and (b) capacity-building and the
development of institutions.

12.  The enabling and participatory strategy set out in the Habitat
Agenda encompasses, among other things, the following:

     (a) Increasing participation by women and men;

     (b) Creating more effective partnerships;    

     (c) Increasing responsiveness to community needs;

     (d) Instilling a strong sense of public service among
public/private sector leaders;

     (e) Improving leadership skills at all levels;

     (f) Making institutions accountable, open and transparent;

     (g) Building technical capacity in government;

     (h) Mobilizing adequate financial resources;

     (i) Removing barriers to human development;

     (j) Achieving universal literacy and continuing general
education;

     (k) Ensuring accessibility to accurate and relevant information;

     (l) Ensuring consistency and coordination through adoption of
appropriate policies.

13.  These subjects are addressed in chapter IV, section D of the
Habitat Agenda wherein objectives and actions are proposed for:

     (a) Decentralization and strengthening of local authorities and
their associations;

     (b) Popular participation and civic engagement;

     (c) Human settlements management;

     (d) Metropolitan planning and management;

     (e) Enhancing domestic financial resources and economic
instruments;

     (f) Information and communications.

14.  The actions proposed under these sections are intended to help
generate "institutional capital" for national and local implementation
of the Habitat Agenda.  They are aimed at establishing and
reinforcing, among other things, the training systems, management
information systems, research and analytical capabilities, legal and
policy frameworks, consultative and participatory processes,
communication networks and planning processes that contribute to
effective governance.  Strengthening these systems is a "first order"
of the Agenda to be given priority at all levels.  Priorities as set
out in the Habitat Agenda reflect in turn the emphasis placed on
capacity-building and follow-up in the national plans of action
submitted by Governments (as reported below).


                          C.  Partners' expectations

15.  One of the main innovations of Habitat II was its way of promoting
new partnerships between the United Nations and civil society. 
National committees included among their members representatives of
local authorities and of major groups in national preparations.  In
partnership with the Habitat II secretariat, local authorities, major
groups and their representatives worked throughout the preparatory
process to formulate consensus positions on human settlements policy
and to identify their own roles and responsibilities in helping to
create sustainable human settlements.  Committee II of the Conference
provided the venue for each major group's presentation of its position
and expectations.

16.  The principal expectations of these partners, as presented in
Committee II, may be summarized as follows:  (a) private foundations
expect the United Nations to foster consultations with them:  a task
force was set up to define common tasks; (b) local authorities expect
to play a greater role in policy decisions in their countries:  they
called for a strategic alliance to be forged between their
association's secretariat, to be established this year, and the United
Nations, as well as for an enhanced status to be granted to them in
the Commission on Human Settlements; (c) academies of science and
professional groups underlined the necessity of rethinking the subject
of planning in academic research and in graduation requirements:  they
expect a wider use of academic research in implementing the Habitat
Agenda; (d) business leaders expect greater social responsibility to
be assumed by the private sector:  they ask that the United Nations
Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) set up a task force to provide
information to corporations and members of the business community that
wish to pursue public-private partnerships; (e) parliamentarians
pledged a more proactive position towards human settlements and
stressed the importance of partnerships and more effective community
involvement; (f) trade unions expect to strengthen their relationship
with government, local authorities and the private sector and called
for resources to be channelled away from military purposes to social
purposes; (g) non-governmental organizations expect that the dialogue
process, facilitated by the United Nations Centre for Human
Settlements (Habitat), will continue and be strengthened; and (h)
organizations of the United Nations system expect that the inter-
agency cooperation effort pursued during the Conference process will
be carried forward and furthered in the implementation of the Habitat
Agenda.


                      III.  IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP

17.  International strategies of cooperation and coordination are
outlined in the Habitat Agenda, chapter IV, section E.  The main
strategic objectives and activities presented in that section cover
the establishment of an international enabling environment; issues of
international finance, external debt and trade; the promotion of the
transfer of technology and exchange of information; and the provision
of support to technical and institutional cooperation.  Institutional
arrangements, new responsibilities and coordination mechanisms,
primarily within the United Nations system, to implement these
strategies are dealt with in chapter IV, section F.  Recognizing that
the process of reorganization and revitalization of the United Nations
system is currently under way, the Habitat Agenda adopted a functional
approach to follow-up activities by establishing critical functions
for policy and operations and calling for their implementation by the
most appropriate entity within the existing structures of the United
Nations system.


                              A.  National level

18.  Paragraph 213 of the Habitat Agenda states that "Governments have
the primary responsibility for implementing the Habitat Agenda. 
Governments as enabling partners should create and strengthen
effective partnerships with women, youth, the elderly, persons with
disabilities, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, indigenous people
and communities, local authorities, the private sector and
non-governmental organizations in each country".  It further indicates
that "national mechanisms should be established or improved, as
appropriate, to coordinate actions at all relevant government levels
that have an impact on human settlements and to assess this impact
prior to governmental actions".

19.  In the preparations for Habitat II, the General Assembly and the
Preparatory Committee for the Conference had called for a broad-based
participatory process at the national level in order to determine
priorities for national and international action.  National plans of
action were thus to be based on an enabling strategy, and to address
the issues of human settlements development by involving the full
participation and support of all relevant actors.  The 124 national
reports received by the Habitat II secretariat confirm that national
planning processes generally adhered to this pattern, including
representatives of national ministries, public and parastatal
organizations, local authorities, the scientific and academic
community, professional organizations, non-governmental and community-
based organizations and the private sector.  As part of the
consultative process, many workshops, seminars and meetings took place
worldwide at the local, national, subregional and regional levels. 
The national reports reflect the diversity and richness of these
consultations (see the note by the Secretariat transmitting the report
of the Secretary-General on national reports and national plans of
action (A/CONF.165/CRP.5)).

20.  Most of the national plans of action contain information on
national human settlements conditions and trends as well as on
proposed actions in the thematic areas of adequate shelter for all and
sustainable human settlements.  Poverty reduction, decentralized
governance and urban management, disaster preparedness and
post-disaster rehabilitation, and follow-up arrangements are other
subject areas addressed in most national plans.

21.  The main follow-up activity to Habitat II, at the national level,
will be the implementation and further development of these national
plans of action.  Because the United Nations system plays a
predominantly supporting and facilitating role in shelter and
settlements development, the substantive content of the follow-up by
the United Nations system to Habitat II will be guided by national and
local priorities for assistance, as outlined in the national reports
and as further developed by the national mechanisms recommended in the
Habitat Agenda.  One hundred out of 124 national reports contained
five-year national plans of action in which priorities for assistance
were outlined.  The design and implementation of international
technical cooperation policies and programmes, such as those related
to enablement, capacity-building and institutional development, will
be based on these national priorities.

22.  On the basis of an analysis of existing national plans, the
broadest demand for technical assistance and cooperation in the
follow-up to Habitat II is likely to be in institutional development,
capacity-building and facilitation/enablement, with emphasis on the
following components of effective governance for sustainable human
settlements:  legal frameworks and institutional structures,
consultative and participatory processes, research and policy
development, planning processes, management systems, financing
modalities, training systems, information systems, communication
networks, and technology transfer processes.

23.  Technical cooperation to be provided by the United Nations system
operational activities at the national level is further addressed
below.


                        B.  Regional/subregional level

24.  Paragraph 221 of the Habitat Agenda states that "the regional
commissions, within their mandates and in cooperation with regional
intergovernmental organizations and banks, could consider convening
high-level meetings to review progress made in implementing the
outcome of Habitat II, to exchange views on their respective
experiences, particularly on best practices, and to adopt appropriate
measures.  Such meetings could involve, as appropriate, the
participation of the principal financial and technical institutions. 
The regional commissions should report to the (Economic and Social)
Council on the outcome of such meetings".  The Habitat Agenda also
indicates, in paragraph 213, that "Governments may wish to coordinate
the implementation of their national plans of action through enhanced
cooperation and partnerships with subregional, regional and
international organizations, inter alia, the United Nations system,
including the Bretton Woods institutions, which have a very important
role to play in a number of countries".

25.  The emphasis on the role of the regional commissions in the above
provisions of the Habitat Agenda reflects the critical differences
that exist among regions of the world with regard to human
settlements.  The regional commissions are well placed to monitor and
support sustainable human settlements development activities that are
relevant to the specific context of each region and to exercise a
coordinating and integrating role in furthering implementation of the
Habitat Agenda at the regional level.  A primary responsibility of the
regional commissions is to provide advisory services and to strengthen
regional networks by which Member States may exchange experience and
information, and harmonize national economic, social, environmental
and settlement policies and strategies - in particular those that have
a critical cross-border impact on, inter alia, migration, shared
coastal zones, river basins and ecosystems, watersheds, and pollution
and waste management.


                            C.  International level

26.  Paragraph 214 of the Habitat Agenda states that "the main
intergovernmental actors at the global level for the implementation
and follow-up of the Habitat Agenda will continue to be all States,
the United Nations General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council,
and in particular the Commission on Human Settlements, according to
its mandate and role as contained in General Assembly resolution
32/162 of 19 December 1977 and in all other relevant resolutions of
the Assembly".

27.  In paragraph 215 of the Habitat Agenda, it is noted that "all
States should exert concerted efforts to achieve the implementation of
the Habitat Agenda through bilateral, subregional, regional, and
international cooperation, as well as through the United Nations
system, including the Bretton Woods institutions".  Subsequent
paragraphs contain detailed recommendations on the responsibilities to
be exercised by the United Nations machinery in respect of the follow-
up to the Conference, with "special consideration ... given to the
roles of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council"
(para. 216).


                             1.  General Assembly

28.  As the highest intergovernmental body, the General Assembly is the
principal policy-making and appraisal organ on matters relating to the
follow-up of Habitat II.  Paragraph 217 of the Habitat Agenda
recommends that "at its fifty-second session, the Assembly should
review the effectiveness of the steps taken to implement the outcome
of the Conference".  The same paragraph also states that "at the
special session of the General Assembly to be convened in 1997 for the
purpose of an overall review and appraisal of Agenda 21, due attention
should be given to the issue of human settlements in the context of
sustainable development".  The Habitat Agenda, in its paragraph 218,
also recommends that "the General Assembly should consider holding a
special session in the year 2001 for an overall review and appraisal
of the implementation of the outcome of Habitat II and should consider
further actions and initiatives".


                        2.  Economic and Social Council

29.  The Habitat Agenda provides in paragraph 219 that "the Economic
and Social Council, in accordance with its role under the Charter of
the United Nations and with the relevant General Assembly and Economic
and Social Council resolutions and decisions, would oversee system-
wide coordination in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and make
recommendations in this regard.  The Economic and Social Council
should be invited to review the follow-up of the Habitat Agenda at its
substantive session of 1997".  The Habitat Agenda, in its
paragraph 220, also states that "the Economic and Social Council may
convene meetings of high-level representatives to promote
international dialogue on the critical issues pertaining to adequate
shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development as well
as on policies for addressing them through international cooperation. 
In this context, it may consider dedicating one high-level segment
before 2001 to human settlements and the implementation of the Habitat
Agenda with the active involvement and participation of, inter alia,
the specialized agencies, the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund".

30.  The Secretary-General would recall, under this heading, that at
its substantive session of 1995, the Council, in its agreed
conclusions 1995/1, section I.B (first paragraph), 4/ decided that,
each year, within the framework of its coordination segment, it would
carry out a review of cross-cutting themes common to major
international conferences and/or contribute to an overall review of
the implementation of the programme of action of a given United
Nations conference.


                      3.  Commission on Human Settlements

31.  Paragraph 225 of the Habitat Agenda states that "as a standing
committee assisting the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on
Human Settlements should have a central role in monitoring, within the
United Nations system, the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and
advising the Council thereon".  It should also "assist the Economic
and Social Council in its coordination of the reporting on the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda with the relevant organizations
of the United Nations system.  The Commission should draw upon inputs
from other organizations of the United Nations system and other
sources, as appropriate" (para. 226).  In accordance with
paragraph 223 of the Agenda, "taking into account the recommendations
of the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, the Commission on
Human Settlements should, at its forthcoming session, review its
programme of work in order to ensure the effective follow-up and
implementation of the outcome of the Conference, in a manner
consistent with the functions and contributions of other relevant
organs of the United Nations system, and make recommendations thereon
to the Economic and Social Council within the framework of its review
of the activities of its subsidiary bodies".  Paragraph 227 states
further:  "The Commission on Human Settlements, in developing its work
programme, should examine the Habitat Agenda and consider how to
integrate in its programme of work the follow-up to the second United
Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).  In this
context, the Commission on Human Settlements could consider how it
could further develop its catalytic role in promoting adequate shelter
for all and sustainable human settlements development".  Finally,
paragraph 225 of the Agenda notes that the Commission "should have a
clear mandate and sufficient human and financial resources, through
the reallocation of resources within the regular budget of the United
Nations, to carry out that mandate".


        4.  Other subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council

32.  Paragraph 224 of the Habitat Agenda states that "the General
Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, in accordance with their
respective mandates, are invited to review and strengthen the mandate
of the Commission on Human Settlements, taking into account the
Habitat Agenda as well as the need for synergy with other related
commissions and Conference follow-up, and for a system-wide approach
to its implementation".

33.  Paragraph 230 of the Agenda recommends that "within their
mandates, subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council, such
as the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Commission for
Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women, the
Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Population and
Development, should give due regard to human settlements issues, as
set out in the Habitat Agenda".  In paragraph 233, the Habitat Agenda
also emphasizes "the important role of the Committee on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights in monitoring those aspects of the Habitat
Agenda that relate to States parties' compliance with the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights".

34.  It should be noted, in this context, that a number of chapters of
Agenda 21 5/ are targeted at the impacts of activities that originate
within human settlements.  The Habitat Agenda thus provides a useful
organizing framework for the implementation of relevant aspects of
Agenda 21.  In this connection, full advantage will be taken of the
reporting system established by the Commission on Sustainable
Development, in order, inter alia, to bring information related to
sustainable human settlements development, especially as regards the
implementation of chapter 7 of Agenda 21, to the attention of the
Commission on Human Settlements.


                    5.  United Nations system organizations

35.  Paragraph 234 through 236 address a number of recommendations to
United Nations system organizations, including the Bretton Woods
institutions, aimed at strengthening "their support for action at the
national level" and at enhancing "their contributions to an integrated
and coordinated follow-up" to Habitat II.

36.  In his opening statement at Habitat II, the Secretary-General of
the United Nations made, inter alia, the following points which remain
valid as a guide to the follow-up to the Conference within the system:

         I have been particularly satisfied to see that this has been
     a truly system-wide collective effort.  Cooperation among the
     agencies and programmes of the United Nations, including the
     Bretton Woods institutions, was productive both in the proceedings
     of the Conference and in the many parallel events.  I will spare
     no effort to ensure that this strong spirit of inter-agency
     teamwork and interaction will be maintained in the next crucial
     phase of translating your decisions into concrete action.

     In this respect, I would like to emphasize three requirements:

     -   The individual institutions of the United Nations system must
         engage in mutually supporting activities.  This is
         particularly important given the multidisciplinary nature of
         this Conference.

     -   The follow-up to this Conference must be integrated with the
         actions under way to implement the outcomes of other recent
         global conferences.  The framework for such integrated
         follow-up has been set through the thematic task forces
         established by the United Nations system.  The issues covered
         by these task forces - employment and sustainable livelihood,
         and the enabling environment and social services, together
         with the emphasis on the alleviation of poverty - are
         critical to the implementation of decisions reached at this
         Conference.

     -   We must give additional push in the follow-up phase to
         reinforcing the partnerships between the United Nations and
         civil society, whose active participation and diverse
         contributions have made this Conference so singular and so
         productive.

37.  Habitat II, in addition to being a partnership conference, was
indeed a system-wide undertaking involving the active participation
of, and substantive and financial contribution by, the entire family
of organizations, programmes and funds of the United Nations system. 
As outlined above, these entities will have a major role to play in
the implementation and follow-up to Habitat II.  Their substantive
expertise, information and other resources will be essential to
supporting the broad array of activities required to further the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda at the international, regional
and national levels.  These activities should be effectively
harmonized by drawing on available inter-agency coordination
mechanisms and through the development and adoption of sectorally
integrated policies and strategies for action at all levels.  The
annex to this report lists substantive areas where collaborative
arrangements are already being established or strengthened between
Habitat and relevant agencies, funds or programmes of the United
Nations system.

38.  The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) is the
principal inter-agency instrument for ensuring policy and programme
coordination among the various organizations of the United Nations
system.  Pursuant to the invitation contained in the Habitat Agenda
for ACC to "review its procedures at the inter-agency level to ensure
system-wide coordination and full participation of its entities in the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda", ACC, particularly through its
Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ)
and its Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development (IACSD),
will ensure that there will be an effective inter-agency response to
the Habitat Agenda and that adequate consideration is given to the
human settlements dimension in all relevant activities of the United
Nations system.  The further request contained in the Habitat Agenda
that its implementation should be included in the mandates of the
relevant inter-agency task forces of ACC, particularly those charged
with follow-up of United Nations conferences, fully corresponds to the
intention of the Secretary-General, as indicated in his opening
statement at Habitat II set out above, and is also being actively
followed up.

39.  Relevant technical cooperation activities to be undertaken by the
organizations of the United Nations system in support of the sectoral
components of national plans of action will be harmonized, as
required, at the country level, through the resident coordinator
system.  In responding to national needs, the United Nations Centre
for Human Settlements (Habitat), in close coordination with the
resident coordinator, will provide support to the human settlements
component of country strategy notes, where they exist, or other
national planning instruments.  More generally, it will cooperate with
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other concerned
organizations in promoting an effective strengthening and integration
of the system's overall support for national action in all phases of
planning, execution and monitoring.

40.  International financial institutions have a major role to play in
the mobilization of resources for the implementation of the Habitat
Agenda, at the national and local levels, in such critical areas of
human settlements development as infrastructure development, basic
services, land, housing finance, transport and communication, energy,
the development of the construction and building industry and shelter. 
The active participation of the World Bank, the International Monetary
Fund, and the regional and subregional development banks and funds in
Habitat II is testimony to their willingness to enhance policy
dialogues and develop new initiatives in this area.  Pursuant to the
Habitat Agenda, these organizations will seek to integrate further
adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development
goals in their policies, programmes and operations by, inter alia,
giving higher priority to these goals in their lending programmes,
wherever applicable.  The possibility will also be explored with the
World Bank and other concerned organizations of convening
consultations involving the Bretton Woods institutions and other
relevant international and regional finance organizations to seek new
ways and means of giving priority attention to supporting the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda.


                  6.  United Nations Secretariat arrangements

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)

41.  It will be recalled that, following the first United Nations
Conference on Human Settlements, held in Vancouver, British Columbia,
in 1976, and deriving from its recommendations, a consensus developed
on the need for institutional arrangements to provide a focal point
within the United Nations system to promote and support a concerted
and systematic effort by the international community for human
settlements development.  This resulted in General Assembly resolution
32/162 of 19 December 1977, in which the Assembly established both the
Commission on Human Settlements and the United Nations Centre for
Human Settlements (Habitat) which provides the Commission's
secretariat.  Since that time, these institutional arrangements have
continued to enhance their capacity for technical competence and
innovativeness, as well as effectiveness of operations, as manifested
particularly in the Centre's wide-reaching technical cooperation
activities covering the vast majority of developing countries.

42.  Existing institutional arrangements, comprising the Commission on
Human Settlements and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
(Habitat), have thus contributed to creating heightened awareness and
concern worldwide for human settlements issues and, as demonstrated by
Habitat II, have succeeded in mobilizing a wide constituency in
support of human settlements development.  Among the pertinent
initiatives engendered over the years, mention might be made of the
declaration and observance by the international community of 1987 as
the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, and the adoption
by the international community in 1988 of the Global Strategy for
Shelter to the Year 2000, 6/ for the implementation of which the
Commission and the Centre were designated by the General Assembly to
provide leadership at the intergovernmental and the secretariat level,
respectively.  These initiatives culminated in the second United
Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) which was first
proposed by the Commission on Human Settlements and for which the
Centre was designated substantive secretariat by the Assembly.  It is
also significant to note in this regard that the Commission on
Sustainable Development, as contemplated by the 1992 United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development, has designated the United
Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) as task manager for the
implementation of the human settlements-related chapter of Agenda 21
(chap. 7).

43.  In recognition of this contribution, the Habitat Agenda concluded
that the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) should
be designated as the focal point of its implementation and reaffirmed
that the primary function of the Centre is to provide "substantive
servicing to the Commission on Human Settlements and other
intergovernmental bodies concerned with adequate shelter for all and
sustainable human settlements development".  An extensive list of the
responsibilities to be undertaken by the Centre is set forth in
paragraph 228 of the Agenda, which stresses the need for the Centre to
"focus on well-defined objectives and strategic issues".  The Agenda
adds that "in the light of the review of the mandate of the Commission
on Human Settlements ... the functions of the United Nations Centre
for Human Settlements (Habitat) will ... need to be assessed with a
view to its revitalization" (para. 229).

44.  Paragraph 229 further requests the Secretary-General to "ensure
more effective functioning of the Centre by, inter alia, providing
sufficient human and financial resources within the regular budget of
the United Nations".  Ways of enhancing the effectiveness of the
Centre will be pursued in the context of the overall process of
revitalization and strengthening of the economic and social sectors of
the Organization currently under way, and guided by the review of the
mandate of the Commission and of the functions of the Centre provided
for in the Habitat Agenda.  At the same time, the possibilities of
financial support from non-traditional sources of funding, which have
been opened up by the new partnerships established by the Habitat
secretariat with, among others, the organized private sector, private
foundations and municipal and local authorities, will be actively
pursued by the Centre.


              D.  Involvement of local authorities and civil society,
                  including the private sector

45.  By helping to define the interest, capacities and potential roles
and contributions of major groups, Habitat II introduced new and
innovative working relationships between governmental and
non-governmental actors in the human settlements and shelter
development field.  The Habitat Agenda contains important
recommendations aimed at promoting a continuation and strengthening of
those relationships, at both the policy development and implementation
levels.  Attention is drawn in particular to the recommendation that
the Commission on Human Settlements should review its working methods
in order to involve in its work the representatives of local
authorities and the relevant actors of civil society, particularly the
private sector and non-governmental organizations in the field of
sustainable human settlements and shelter, taking into account its
rules of procedure.

46.  Given the important role that civil society organizations, local
authorities and the private sector can play in the field of human
settlements development, the Secretary-General would strongly
encourage Member States to facilitate the continuation of the policy
dialogues between major groups and partners at the national and local
levels, begun with the Habitat II process.


                 IV.  ACTION REQUIRED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

47.  The General Assembly, at its current session, may wish to consider
including the following elements in its resolution concerning the
implementation of and follow-up to Habitat II:

     (a) Calling upon Member States and the international community to
commit themselves to full and effective implementation of the Habitat
Agenda through the early development and/or strengthening of national
plans of action/programmes to achieve the goals of adequate shelter
for all and sustainable human settlements development, including the
establishment or improvement of national mechanisms to coordinate
actions at all levels;

     (b) Calling upon the organizations of the United Nations system
to extend their full support to Governments and the international
community in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda in the context
of an integrated follow-up to all recent global conferences;

     (c) Inviting local authorities and all elements of civil society,
including the private sector, to contribute actively to the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda;

     (d) Deciding to give due attention to the issue of human
settlements in the context of sustainable development at its 1997
special session on the review of Agenda 21;

     (e) Also deciding to review, at its fifty-second session, the
effectiveness of the steps taken to implement the outcome of the
Conference;

     (f) Further deciding to conduct, in the year 2001, an overall
appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of Habitat II with a
view to considering further actions and initiatives;

     (g) Inviting the Economic and Social Council to review the
follow-up of the Habitat Agenda at the Council's substantive session
of 1997;

     (h) Inviting the Commission on Human Settlements to assist the
Economic and Social Council in its 1997 review of the follow-up to the
Habitat Agenda and review its work programme in order to ensure an
effective follow-up and implementation of the outcome of the
Conference in a manner consistent with the functions and contributions
of other relevant organs of the United Nations system and to make
recommendations thereon to the Council in the framework of its review
of its subsidiary bodies;

     (i) Inviting, within their mandates, subsidiary bodies of the
Economic and Social Council to give due regard to human settlements
issues as set out in the Habitat Agenda;

     (j) Noting the intention of the Secretary-General to ensure
effective coordination of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and
adequate consideration of human settlements needs in all activities of
the United Nations system, and to include the implementation of the
Habitat Agenda in the agenda of the ACC machinery, and in the mandates
of the thematic task forces that are promoting an integrated and
coordinated follow-up, at the inter-agency level, of the outcomes of
recent global conferences.


                                     Notes

     1/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth Session,
Supplement No. 37 (A/50/37).

     2/  Report of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(Habitat II), Istanbul, 3-14 June 1996 (A/CONF.165/14), chap. I,
resolution 1, annex II.

     3/  Ibid., annex I.

     4/  See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 3 (A/50/3/Rev.1), chap. III, para. 22.

     5/  Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions
Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex II.

     6/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-third
Session, Supplement No. 8, addendum (A/43/8/Add.1).


                                     ANNEX

             Areas of collaboration between Habitat and components
                         of the United Nations system


     Collaborative arrangements in substantive areas are being
established or strengthened between Habitat and the following
organizations, bodies and funds of the United Nations system:

     (a) International Labour Organization (ILO):  expansion and
protection of employment and work, promotion of small- and medium-
sized enterprises, cooperative and other measures designed to optimize
the impact of shelter-related investment programmes on employment
creation and poverty alleviation;

     (b) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO):  preservation and conservation of settlements
of historical and cultural value; networking with education and
scientific institutions related to human settlements;

     (c) World Health Organization (WHO):  strengthening health
services and linking public health to basic urban services; joining in
and encouraging inter-agency partnerships;

     (d) World Bank:  supporting the provision of basic urban
services, urban environmental improvement and strengthening urban
finance; formulation of strategic frameworks to reduce poverty in
urban areas of developing countries;

     (e) International Monetary Fund (IMF):  technical assistance and
policy advice on public-private collaboration for increasing private
sector funding for housing and infrastructure;

     (f) World Meteorological Organization (WMO):  linkages between,
and impact of urbanization and population growth on, inter alia,
climatology, meteorology, operational hydrology and water resources;

     (g) United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO): 
urban industrial productivity, particularly in the areas of
infrastructure development, and the construction and building sectors;

     (h) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): 
monitoring major trends of urbanization and the impact of urban
policies in connection with changes in the global economic environment
and, especially, the 
implications of international financial liberalization on housing and
urban finance in developing countries;

     (i) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):  environmental
assessment, monitoring and evaluation, particularly in the areas of
sustainable patterns of consumption and production, transportation and
waste management strategies, coastal and freshwater resources,
hazardous waste management and the reduction and phasing out of
ozone-depleting substances and reduction of greenhouse gases;

     (j) Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR): coordination of disaster mitigation, disaster relief and
post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, and
coordination of refugee repatriation and resettlement initiatives;

     (k) World Food Programme (WFP):  linking food aid to the
provision of rural and urban infrastructure, particularly after civil
conflict, with special emphasis on the role of women;

     (l) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):  promotion of
people- centred development through support to thematic, multisectoral
programmes of national Governments, local authorities,
non-governmental organizations and other partners through its network
of country offices; support for the mobilization and coordination of
donor and domestic resources for capacity-building;

     (m) United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):  urban basic
services, child protection and defence and promoting social inclusion
and equity;

     (n) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):  urban and rural
poverty alleviation and eradication through suitable reproductive
health programmes and research into the linkages among population,
migration and urban growth and their implication for human settlement;

     (o) United Nations University (UNU):  dissemination of research
methods and tools relevant to urbanization and urban development;

     (p) Centre for Human Rights:  integrating strategies of the
Habitat Agenda with ongoing and future human rights activities;
establishing field advisory services and technical assistance;

     (q) United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV):  stimulating
volunteer contributions at all levels in support of vulnerable groups
and with a specific view to capacity-building to combat poverty;

     (r) United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM): 
promoting gender equity and equality in areas covered by the Habitat
Agenda.


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