|Statement by Liu Zhongxin, Adviser of The Chinese Delegation at the 60th Session of the UNGA on Item 53:Implementation of the Outcome of the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habit II) and the 25th Special Session of the UNGA|
Since the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) held in 1996 and the 25th Special Session of the UNGA held in 2001, the global human settlements situation, despite improvements, is still beset by many outstanding problems; a great number of impoverished populations are still deprived of housing and the global environmental and ecological degradation are significantly affecting human settlements. The challenges facing the developing countries in particular are all the more severe.
The problem of human settlements is a global one. To solve this problem, it is imperative to mainstream human settlements into national development strategies. The two major goals set by Habitat II, namely, "adequately shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world", can only be achieved through joint efforts of and enhanced cooperation among all countries. A comprehensive implementation of the Habitat Agenda requires actions by all sides, with special attention to the following:
1. Respecting domestic circumstances of countries and their autonomy in decision-making. Countries are different in political systems, laws and regulations, economic development levels, cultures and traditions, customs and practices, and natural environments. As a result, they are faced with different human settlements problems. In tackling human settlements, countries may learn from and draw on each other's experience, but it is impossible to adopt a uniform approach or model. The policies, strategies, plans and priorities formulated to solve the human settlements problem by different countries in light of their domestic circumstances, capacities and conditions should therefore be respected.
2. Pursuing sustainable development as the overarching principle. The relationship among population growth, environmental protection and human settlements development needs to be correctly handled by all countries. While working in sync with economic development, human settlements development should also be coordinated with population growth, productivity expansion, resource utilization and environmental protection, so as to follow the path of sustainable development. It is essential to control the population growth in a planned way and strengthen the ecological and environmental protection, which will in turn facilitate the human settlements development.
3. Promoting the extensive participation of the whole society. Human settlements development represents one of the most important signs of the development and progress of a society. As it is closely related to the interest of each and every individua