|Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the 2nd Committee of the 66th GA on Human Settlements|
The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of G77 and China.
The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his reports on the implementation of the outcome of the UN Conference on Human Settlements and strengthening of the UN Human Settlements Programme, and on the third UN Conference on housing and sustainable urban development. Since the adoption of the Habitat Agenda in 1996, countries have made unremitting efforts to address the problem of human settlements and achieved positive results. However, the problem of human settlements in the world is far from being solved and the developing countries in particular still face serious challenges in this field. Strengthening international cooperation in the field of human settlements is thus indispensable.
China supports the proposal of the Secretary General to hold the third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development in 2016. We hope that Habitat III and such existing mechanisms as the Governing Council of the UN-Habitat and the World Urban Forum will focus on their respective fields and work in a pragmatic and economic manner to achieve the projected results.
The Chinese government has always attached great importance to human settlement construction. At present, it is promoting large scale affordable housing construction while further strengthening and improving the control of the real estate market. At the same time, our urban infrastructure construction has been going on steadily; our efforts to improve urban ecological environment have produced tangible results; and we have witnessed a continuous enhancement of the comprehensive capabilities of our cities.
First, to achieve the goal of enabling everyone to have a place to live, we based ourselves on China’s specific situation of rapid urbanization, large population and limited land space, and adopted a policy for urban housing that combines market supply with government guarantee with market supply playing the major role. The emphasis was put on meeting basic housing needs either by purchasing or by renting, and primary residences, energy efficient and environmentally sound housing with limited land use and smaller units are encouraged. From 1978 to 2010, urban per capita living space in terms of construction area has increased from 6.7 square meters to more than 30 square meters. In addition, newly constructed units are of higher quality and have much improved facilities, thus providing distinctly better living environment. By the end of the 12th Five Year Plan, indemnificatory housing coverage in cities and towns will reach above 20%. China will continue to improve the ways to provide indemnificatory housing, increase the construction of affordable housing and strengthen its utilization control, so as to genuinely improve the housing condition of urban residents.
Second, we have strengthened planning and guidance of the development of various types of cities with a view to achieving a rational positioning of large, medium and small cities and small towns as well as their coordinated development. We have taken an integrated approach in urban and rural planning and tried to introduce more concentrated and intensive modalities of urban development to make our cities more energy efficient and environment friendly. We have worked to coordinate urbanization with the need of the residents with a view to matching the growth of urban population with increased capacity to provide employment, infrastructure and public services.
Third, our urban infrastructure construction has been on a fast track and the overall functioning of cities has been improved. Governments at different levels have continued to emphasize the protection of ecological environment in the construction of urban infrastructure, making remarkable progress in sewage and waste treatment, green area and park landscaping, use of gas fuel and central heating.
To have a place to live and to lead a happy life are not just the aspiration of the Chinese people but also a goal shared by people all over the world. We are ready to continue to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with other countries, UN-Habitat and other international organizations to make a concerted effort to promote the sustainable, comprehensive and balanced development of human settlements and the realization of the MDGs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.