|The NGLS Handbook of UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds Working for Economic and Social Development (NGLS)|
|United nations centre for human settlements UNCHS (HABITAT)|
Role of NGOs at the Habitat II Conference
A major feature of the Habitat II Conference was the participation of different groups from civil society in the official conference, as well as in the Istanbul Dialogues for the 21st Century and other parallel activities. Specific forums were organized by NGOs and CBOs, local authorities, parliamentarians, labour unions, academics, the private sector. foundations, women, youth and human solidarity groups. They presented the results of' their forums and their commitments to the Habitat Agenda to Committee II of the conference.
UNCHS assisted the international NGO community toward the organization of the NGO Forum at the conference, which was held at the Istanbul Technical University, a short distance from the venue of the conference. It is important to note that the NGOs formulated their Committee II presentation at the NGO Forum, thus achieving a close and formal link between the NGO Forum and the conference. Another group of NGOs, also coordinated from the NGO Forum, joined with governments and other partners in the negotiations on the drafting of the Habitat Agenda.
Habitat's experience in working with different groups in civil society in preparations towards the Istanbul Conference now forms the basis of its Partners Programme. This programme will expand cooperation with a whole range of actors in civil society, including NGOs and CBOs and their networks, women's associations, Youth for Habitat groups, local authorities and their national, regional and international associations, the private sector, labour unions, academics of science and technology. professional acsociations, foundations, parliamentarians and human solidarity groups. All these groups are becoming active partners in the implementation of programmes and projects in the field of human settlements and in the context of the Habitat Agenda.