| GATE 1/96: Habitat II Conference |
The "Town without law" slum area on the fringe of Mexico City is growing at a rate of 1000 inhabitants per day.
The Turkish capital Istanbul will be hosting the Habitat II conference in June. Parallel to the official conference of governments, NGOs will be holding their own forum and as early as the preparatory process they had unprecedented access to the negotiations. This issue of gate centres on the debate from the NGO perspective, voicing above all our partner organisations in GATE/ISAT.
The conference in Istanbul -the "City Summit" - will emphasise urban agglomerations. Ernst Reichenbach describes the rationale and background for focusing on towns and cities in development cooperation by describing Germany's contribution to Habitat II.
Yvonne Mabille reports from an international PrepCom conference in Berlin. Ana Elizabeth Basurto Quijada describes how the right to housing -an intensively debated subject and one of the most important for NGOs -relates to the other human rights. Another article informs on the activities of BASIN, an international network which promotes appropriate building technologies to improve shelter.
The core of our focus is formed by contributions from our GATE/ISAT partners from Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Uganda and Pakistan who report on their countries' experiences in implementing the "Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000" and their expectations for Habitat II. All NGOs demand intensive popular participation in planning towns and settlements, particular attention being given to neglected groups such as women, children and people living in slums.