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Habitat II Conference                      [ Back to Habitat II ]

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IV Global Plan of Action

E. International cooperation and coordination

5. Technical cooperation

207. To face the challenges of a rapidly urbanizing world, there is need to ensure that international, regional, national and local networks facilitate more effectively the exchange and transfer of knowledge and experience on institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks and disseminate best practices on sustainable human settlements in rural and urban areas, including, inter alia, those reflected in the outcome of the Dubai International Conference on Best Practices for Improving the Living Environment, held in November 1995. The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) should, within its mandate, act as a catalyst in the mobilization of technical cooperation. Opportunities for improved dissemination and exchange of ideas on technical cooperation at the national and international levels could be explored.

208. More specifically, the international community should:

(a) Taking into account existing networks, examine the establishment of cost-effective and accessible global information networks on human settlements, in the form of permanent and "electronic" conferences, which should contain updated information on the Habitat Agenda and on best practices, as well as progress reports on the implementation of national plans of action;

(b) Through global human settlements information networks, assist Governments at all levels, all major groups of actors and international development agencies in assessing gender-disaggregated information on the social and environmental impacts of policies, strategies, programmes and projects on sustainable human settlements development and the provision of shelter;

(c) With a view to supporting and facilitating national and local efforts in human settlements management, develop and strengthen capacity-building programmes and promote the exchange of experiences and policy responses to urbanization and integrated regional development within the framework of national development strategies;

(d) Enhance the capabilities of national and local authorities to identify and analyse critical human settlements issues, to formulate and effectively implement policies and programmes in response to them, and to manage efficiently the process of settlements development at the local level, including through the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), within its mandate;

(e) Continue to support technical cooperation programmes aimed at preventing and mitigating the effects of natural and human-made disasters and at reconstruction activities in affected countries;

(f) Facilitate the provision of technical, legal and institutional assistance to Governments at the appropriate levels, upon request, in closer cooperation with the capacity-building efforts of relevant organizations of the United Nations system, including through the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), within its mandate and existing resources.

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