|Statement by Ms. Wang Ling of the Chinese Delegation at 2nd Committee of UNGA 59th session on Item 86: Implementation of the Outcome of UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and of 25th special session of UNGA|
|(15 October 2004, New York)|
The Chinese delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary General for his report on human settlements and to the Executive Director of the UN-Habitat for her comprehensive introduction of the item. China associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Qatar on behalf of the G-77 and China.
Since 1996 when implementation of the Habitat Agenda began, positive efforts at the national level to tackle effectively the issue of human settlements and environment have led to some success. Contributions made by UN-HABITAT are well recognized by all. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that the question of human settlements of the world is far from being solved. The vast majority of developing countries still face grave challenges vis-à-vis sustainable human settlements. Intensifying international cooperation in the field of human settlements remains a daunting task before us.
To accelerate the realization of the two major goals set by Habitat II, namely, "adequate shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world" and to promote international cooperation in this field for the comprehensive and effective implementation of the Habitat Agenda , the Chinese delegation would like to emphasize the following:
1. Stainable development provides the only solution to the issue of sustainable
human settlements. The question of human settlements in essence is one of development. Sustained economic growth is of crucial significance for human settlements. This is particularly true for developing countries. On the other hand, human settlement is an important integral part of sustainable development and should be brought about on the basis of a scientific theory for comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. It should correspond to population growth and productivity development and be synthesized with rational resource exploration and environmental protection in a virtuous circle.
2. Strengthening of international cooperation is an effective way to approach the
issue of human settlements. The search for a solution to the problem of human settlements depends on national efforts and will not be possible without a favorable external environment and effective international cooperation. The overall improvement of human settlements in the world hinges upon the settlement of the issue in developing countries. The international community and developed countries in particular should put the common interests of humanity in the first place and endeavor to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the world. They should demonstrate their political will and good faith by honoring their commitments in the areas of funding, technology, expertise, market access and debt relief. In so doing they will contribute to the creation of an external environment favorable for the economic and social development of developing countries and the strengthening of their capacity to handle the issue of human settlement.
3. A comprehensive partnership should be established for human settlement.
Human settlement is related to many issues in other fields. Governments bear the main responsibility for the issue. The civil society should be extensively involved. All partners of the Habitat Agenda such as local governments, NGOs, private sectors, women and youth should bring into full play their enthusiasm and creativity and enhance their cooperation in the common endeavor to improve and develop human settlements.
The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the development of human settlements and considers it a top priority issue. In its efforts to improve the quality of life of its citizens and to create a safe, healthy and livable human settlement, the Chinese Government is implementing in real earnest its solemn commitments made during Habitat II and the special session of the GA. It is also working actively with local governments, enterprises and communities in the spirit of partnership for cooperation advocated by the fore-mentioned conferences.
China's population accounts for 22% of the world's total. The development of human settlements of China is an important integral part of the global undertaking in this field. The continuous improvement of human settlements in China contributes significantly to the development of global human settlements. We are ready to further our communication and cooperation in the future with various countries and international organizations such as UN-HABITAT in this field and work together for the achievement of sustainable human settlements.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.