The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on this item and thank the Secretariat for the introduction. The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
In June this year, the United Nations successfully held a special session of the General Assembly on human settlements, which had a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and adopted the Declaration on Urban and other Human Settlements for the New Millennium. We would like to express our congratulations to the General Assembly for this achievement. The outcome of this special session will play a positive role in the international cooperation on human settlements development and facilitate the further implementation of the Habitat Agenda.
Since the adoption of the Habitat Agenda in 1996, countries around the world have done a great deal of work in the field of housing and human settlements and obtained certain positive results. However, we can also clearly see that in the world as a whole, the human settlements problem is far from being resolved. Development among regions is uneven. Numerous developing countries are still facing serious difficulties in human settlements development. Therefore, it is imperative that the international community further steps up cooperation in human settlements so as to promote more effective implementation of the Habitat Agenda.
In order to accelerate the attainment of the two major objectives of "adequate shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world", which were put forth by the United Nations Conference for Human Settlements, better implement the Habitat Agenda, promote international cooperation in human settlements and resolve the problem of human settlements globally, we would like to stress on the following points:
1. Economic development and eradication of poverty is the precondition for human settlements development. The key of the resolution to the problem of human settlements in the developing countries lies in developing economy and eradicating poverty. It is only through attaining sustained economic growth as well as supporting and assisting the poor and the vulnerable groups by public policies that could poverty gradually be eliminated and a basis laid for human settlements development.
2. Respecting domestic circumstances of countries and their autonomy in decision-making is a basic principle in achieving human settlements development. Countries are different in political systems, laws and regulations, management systems, economic development levels, history, culture and natural environment. They are faced with different human settlements problems. In promoting human settlements development, countries may learn and borrow from each other's practices, but it is impossible to adopt a uniform approach or model. The sovereignty and laws of countries should be respected. The policies, strategies, plans and priority areas formulated to resolve the human settlements problem by different countries in the light of their domestic circumstances, capacities and conditions should be respected.
3. Sustainable development is the correct path to achieving the objectives of human settlements development. Population growth, environmental protection and human settlements development need to be correctly handled. While being compatible with economic development, human settlements development should also be coordinated with population growth, productivity expansion, resources utilization and environmental protection, so as to follow the path of sustainable development. It is important to control the population growth in a planned way and strengthen the ecological and environmental protection, what will facilitate the human settlements development.
4. Enhancement of international cooperation is an important approach to human settlements development. To resolve the problems of human settlements requires not only domestic efforts, but also a sound external environment and effective international cooperation. The improvement of human settlements conditions in developing countries is the first and foremost step to improve the global human settlements. The international community, particularly the developed countries, needs to take the common interests of mankind as a departure point and makes efforts to narrow the gap between the rich and poor, demonstrates political will and creates favorable conditions for the economic and social development of the developing countries. In particular, the commitments made on financing, technology transfer, provision of expertise, market access, debt relief and cancellation should be honored, so as to enhance the developing countries' capacity to promote human settlements development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.