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Statement by Dr. Liu Yuyin, the Chinese Delegate, at the Second Committee of the 64th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 54: Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and Strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)

2009-11-04 17:00

November 4, 2009

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary General for his report on the work of the United Nations Human Settlements Program. China associates itself with the statement made by the Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

Since the adoption of the Habitat Agenda in 1996, the international community has achieved positive results in effectively addressing the issue of housing and human habitat. We should, however, be aware that along with increasing urbanization worldwide, incessant deterioration of natural environment, exacerbated shortage of resources and energy, and under the shock of the world's financial crisis, the problem of human settlements is far from being solved. In the developing countries, in particular, this problem remains a daunting challenge.

In order to expedite the realization of the twin goals set by Habitat II, namely, "adequate shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world", implement the Habitat Agenda in a comprehensive and effective manner, promote international cooperation in the area of human settlements, and enable a fundamental solution to the issue of the world's human settlements, China believes the following points need to be emphasized:

First, the human settlements problem should be dealt within the framework of sustainable development. Human settlements development needs to be supported by economic development. The international community should make concerted efforts to overcome the difficulties of the current financial crisis, and commit itself to the recovery and growth of the world's economy so as to create favorable conditions for human settlements development. Attention needs to be given to the integration of economic development, social progress, environmental protection, population growth and human settlements. The development and improvement of human settlements should be coordinated with the protection of natural environment so as to enable resources-saving and energy-saving sustainable development.

Second, the human settlements problem should be tackled on the basis of the specific conditions of the countries concerned. With varying types of natural environment, cultures and custom, and levels of economic development, different countries encounter different problems. Each country should take into account its own situation, capacity and conditions in the formulation of human settlements policies, strategies, programs and priorities. Countries should act within their capabilities, and strengthen exchanges with, and draw lessons from, one another.

Third, it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation and establish full partnerships. Human settlements development is not possible without enabling external environment and effective international cooperation. The international community, the developed countries in particular, should honor in earnest their commitment to the developing countries in the areas of finance and technology so as to create favorable external conditions for their economic and social development.

Fourth, resources should be pooled together to improve human habitat in a comprehensive manner. Human habitat improvement is a systemic undertaking which involves multiple actors. National governments should play a leading role while mobilizing the broad participation of the whole society and integrating resources of all relevant sectors in an effort to improve human habitat and elevate the quality of human settlements.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to human settlements development, and has implemented in earnest its commitments made at Habitat II and the Special Session of the General Assembly on Habitat Agenda. Pursuing a people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable development, the Chinese government has given priority to habitat improvement and worked for the integrated and harmonious development of urban and rural areas, economic growth and social advancement as well as Man and Nature. We have adopted vigorous measures to raise people's living standards and build secure, healthy and pleasant habitat. Since 1990, 18 cities, projects and individuals in China have received the "World Habitat Award" from the United Nations. In 2000, the Chinese government set up its own "China Habitat Award" and "China Model Habitat Award" to honor those cities, towns, entities and individuals that have made significant achievements in sustainable urban development and habitat improvement, creating a tremendous impetus to the development of human habitat in China.

The human settlements development in China is an integral part of that of the world. We are willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the international community in this area.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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