|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the High-level Event on New Urban Agenda of the 71st Session of the General Assembly|
China associates itself with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
In September, 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which proposed to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements. In October, 2016, the New Urban Agenda adopted at UN Habitat III has charted the course of action for the world's future of urban development and highlighted the importance for the international community to follow a development path of sustainable and people-centered urbanization.
China supports UN-Habitat playing a coordinating role in promoting sustainable urban development worldwide. China appreciates the Independent Assessment Panel for its efforts to prepare the report. China believes that the United Nations and its Member States should provide robust support to UN-Habitat in its full implementation of the New Urban Agenda. UN-Habitat with its current governing architecture should further leverage the role of existing institutions and mechanisms such as the Committee of Permanent Representatives, to make greater contribution to the improvement of human settlements worldwide, to the exchange of experiences in urbanization, and to the development of sustainable urban policies.
Sustainable urban development is an important element of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The international community should step up its efforts in the following areas: First, eradicate poverty, narrow the wealth gap and promote economic growth to lay a solid foundation for urbanization. Second, scientifically plan the size and layout of cities and improve infrastructure and public services to achieve inclusive and sustainable urbanization. Third, address practical difficulties facing developing countries. The international community, developed countries, in particular, should honor their commitments on funding, technology, human resource, market access and debt relief, to create favorable external conditions for the urbanization process in developing countries.
China's urbanization rate increased from 30.5% in 1996 to 57.3% in 2016, an average annual increase of about 1.3%. Urbanization has become an important engine of China's economic growth. The Chinese government pursues a new vision of "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared" development, and will take the following measures to effectively implement the "New Urban Agenda". First, optimize urban planning to upgrade designs. Second, enhance the protection of historical and cultural heritage to shape unique features and styles . Third, improve urban public services to foster most inhabitable conditions. Fourth, promote energy-efficient, water-conserving urban construction. Fifth, ensure innovative urban governance.
China hopes that the international community will work together to nurture a community of shared future, promote an inclusive, sustainable urbanization process, optimize the human living environment, and build a beautiful homeland for mankind.