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Statement by Dr. Liu Yuyin, the Chinese Delegate, on Agenda Item 50: Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and Strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) at the Second Committee of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations


October 28th, 2008

Madam Chairperson,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary General for his report under the agenda item 50: implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). China associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Madam Chairperson,

Since 1996 when the implementation of Habitat Agenda was set in motion, countries have made tireless efforts and achieved positive results in addressing the question of housing and human settlement. Yet, it should be acknowledged that the question of human settlement is far from being resolved, and the situation remains grave, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, strengthening international cooperation in the field of human settlement is indispensable.

Bearing in mind the need to accelerate the achievement of "shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world", the twin goals of Habitat II, implement the Habitat Agenda in a comprehensive and effective manner and promote international cooperation in the field of human settlements in search of a definitive solution to global problems in the field of human settlements, the Chinese delegation wishes to emphasize the following three points:

First, sustainable development offers the only way to any solution to the question of human settlement. In the final analysis, human settlement is a question of development. Economic growth at a certain rate is essential for efforts to solve the question of human settlement, especially in the developing countries. On the other hand, human settlements development, as an important integral part of sustainable development, must be pursued from a scientific perspective and in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner so that a virtuous cycle can be created where human settlements will be developed in sync with the growth of population and productivity and in balance with the rational exploitation of resources and the protection of the environment.

Second, strengthening international cooperation represents an effective means for addressing the question of human settlements. Any solution to the question of human settlements requires both national efforts and an enabling external environment and effective international cooperation. Efforts to address the question of human settlements in developing countries hold the key to and should become the focus of efforts to improve the overall situation of human settlements in the world. In the common interest of the mankind, the international community, developed countries in particular, should demonstrate political will and good faith by fostering a favorable external environment for the economic and social development of developing countries and honoring their commitments in the fields of finance, technology, human resources, market access and debt relief with a view to building up the capability of developing countries to address the question of human settlements.

Third, in order to solve the question of human settlements, a comprehensive partnership needs to be established. As the development of human settlements covers a wide range of fields and includes a multitude of elements, it requires the full participation of the entire society. While governments bear the primary responsibility in this regard, the extensive participation of the society as a whole is indispensable. All partners involved in the implementation of the habitat agenda including local authorities, NGOs, the private sector, women and youth should be encouraged to bring their initiative and creativity into full play and cooperate in a joint effort to improve and enhance the development of human habitat.

The Chinese government gives great importance to the development of human habitat and places it as a priority on its agenda. At present, constant efforts are being made to improve the infrastructure in China's urban areas and efforts to preserve the ecological environment of those areas have yielded remarkable results. As a result, the integrated function of cities has been improved and residential construction in both urban and rural areas has been going on at a high speed.

The development of human settlements in China constitutes an integral part of the global development of human settlements. We are ready to step up exchanges and cooperation with the international community in the field of human settlements development.

From 3 and 6 of November, 2008, the 4th World City Forum will be held in Nanjing, China. The theme of the Forum will be "Harmonious Urbanization". We look forward to welcoming you to the Forum in Nanjing to discuss our common interest, namely, the question of sustainable urban development.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


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