25,000 people were expected to go to Istanbul, Turkey for the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II. 10,000 actually made the short visit.
The series of summits that ended with Habitat II were organised to solve problems, particularly those faced by underdeveloped countries. Infrastrucure, health, housing, migration, education, transportation, poverty, environmental and many other problems the world faces were discussed.
The Alternative Habitat II conference called by Turkish non-governmental organisations opposing the official Habitat was prevented from convening by the Turkish Authorities.
The only other exciting aspect to the Conference was the arrival of the Cuban President Fidel Castro on June 13, the day before the Conference ended. He addressed the session on the last day of the Conference and asked "How many heads of State and Government from developed Countries can you see at this meeting today?" For Castro, the lack of representation of the developed Countries indicated that "those who have almost destroyed the planet and poisoned the air, the seas, the rivers and the soils are presently showing little concern over saving mankind".
Castro's speech focused on the parallel between the division between the poor and the rich countries, on the one hand, and between the countryside and the cities on the other. Commenting on rural-urban migration, Castro said that enormous metropolises are emerging in the underdeveloped countries in which the majority of the urban population are living in shanty towns, overcrowded shacks and depressing neighbourhoods".
Castro concluded by declaring "the world does not accept that a minority of selfish, insane and irresponsibe people will lead it to annihilation".