|Statement by Mr. Xing Jisheng, member of the Chinese Delegation at the 2nd Committee of the 65th GA on Agenda Item 21: Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and Strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)|
The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report submitted under this agenda item. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Yemen on behalf of G77 and China.
Since the implementation of the Habitat Agenda in 1996, countries have made unremitting efforts to address the issue of housing and human settlements and have achieved positive results. UN-Habitat has also played an important role in policy guidance, technical support and raising awareness. The issue of human settlements, however, is far from being solved and developing countries in particular still face serious challenges in this field. The report of the Secretary-General indicates that from 2000 to 2010, the number of slum dwellers has actually been increasing by 6 million annually. Fewer than 35% of cities have their waste water treated. In most cities of low and middle income countries, one third to one half of solid waste generated within most cities in low and middle income countries is not collected. It is therefore imperative to enhance the international cooperation in human settlements.
In order to achieve comprehensive and effective implementation of the Habitat Agenda, the Chinese delegation would like to stress the following points:
First, Economic development and poverty eradication are the prerequisite for a fundamental solution to the issue of human settlements. The international community should jointly work for the world economic recovery and create conditions for the improvement of the human settlements. At the same time, it is necessary to strike a proper balance among population growth, environmental protection and human settlement improvement so as to ensure the sustainability of urbanization.
Secondly, the key to the improvement of human settlement throughout the world lies in the solution of this problem in developing countries. The developed countries should fulfill their commitments in the areas of finance, technology, market access and debt relief to help strengthen the capability of the developing countries to address the issue of human settlement.
Thirdly, it is necessary to respect the sovereignty and domestic laws of countries. Countries should formulate their policies, strategies and priorities in the field of human settlement based on their specific conditions and capacities.
Fourthly, it is important to involve the participation of the whole society and fully mobilize the initiative of local governments, civil society, the private sector and other Habitat Agenda partners to promote broad participation.
My government attaches great importance to human settlement and has worked hard to improve our housing system in order to provide better housing for residents of towns and cities. In our efforts to step up urban infrastructure construction, priority attention is paid to the protection of ecological environment. As a result, remarkable headway has been made in sewage and waste treatment, landscape architecture and gardening, use of gas fuel and central heating. In urban development, we are trying to turn to more concentrated and intensive modalities and make our cities more energy efficient and environment-friendly. We are working to match the growth of our urban population with the increase of employment and the improvement of infrastructure and public services. We are striving for coordinated development and rational positioning of large, medium and small cities and towns. At present, our urban infrastructures are improving; our urban ecological environmental work has achieved remarkable results; the overall functions of our cities are continuously strengthened and our urban housing construction has been and will continue to be on a fast track. The constant improvement of human settlements in China is an important contribution to the development of global human habitat.
The 2010 Shanghai Expo is the first World Expo with the city as its theme. With 246 participating countries and international organizations and over 70 million visitors, this session of the World Expo has broken historical records on both scores. Under the theme of “Better City, Better Life”, the Shanghai Expo has demonstrated the results of urban civilization, disseminated advanced concepts on urban development and provided brand new modalities for the future human settlement and telling examples for the world’s sustainable development.
The Chinese government is ready to further strengthen cooperation and exchanges with UN-Habitat, relevant international organizations and various countries in a joint effort to promote world peace and development, expedite the progress of mankind and attain the MDGs.
Thank You, Madam Chairperson