It is clear that the world is in a turbulent time of change and transition affecting all regions. Movement toward a new global order is becoming apparent, linked to the growing public concerns with the fragility of the planetary environment and the urgency of measures to balance progress for development with environmental protection and sustainability.

The needs of the growing population for housing, shelter and settlements planning and improvement must be addressed. Housing as a human right is achieving international recognition, and housing for all is deemed possible within the expectations, resources and technological capacities of a modern and humane society.

But significant progress anticipated through an international strategy for shelter for all by the year 2000 will remain illusory in many countries until there is established a basic framework for public-private sector partnerships and interactions, with agreed upon goals and targets for priority programming and action. CASHFI and its member institutions will have important roles to play in shaping these developments.