DR. ION BOTNARU
The Twenty-fifth Special Session of the General Assembly for an Overall Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
New York, 7 June 2001
Let me first take the opportunity to join other delegations in congratulating you on your election as President of the XXV special session of the General Assembly. I am convinced that your skills and experience will contribute at the success of this session.
The five-year process of the implementation of the HABITAT agenda has offered an integrated and balanced approach that encompasses policy, legislative and program initiatives towards both development of human settlements and poverty eradication.
As we have registered some progress in different areas of human settlements, there still remains the challenge to develop and implement effective strategies and methods to solve acute problems resulting from poverty, urbanization, lack of adequate shelter, including social housing, rapid population growth. rural-urban migration, economic stagnation and social instability. The review and appraisal of these obstacles should be conducted at international, regional and national levels, taking into consideration the commitments of the HARITAT Agenda and its critical areas, by documenting and learning lessons in its x implementation and by preparing recommendations for future action, as indicated in the Report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Center for Human Settlements and other action-oriented documents of this session.
My country believes the best way to achieve sustainable human settlements is to ensure that future initiatives are based on "best practices" and experience from the review and appraisal process. The principles that are at the foundation of the HABITAT Agenda and Platform of Action of HABITAT II must guide us in our work. as these documents remain a relevant and important global agenda for development in an urbanizing world.
Another basic approach to the development of Human Settlements that embody HABITAT Agenda could be the partnership and capacity building in the era of globalization and urbanization.
We are fully aware that the growing globalization of the world economy represents opportunities and challenges for development process as well as risks and uncertainties. Therefore, there is a need to identify more clearly problems and endeavors for search of possible improvements, looking for the new outlooks on urbanization and wide presence of various active actors, including governmental and non-governmental organizations in the area of human settlements.
In this perspective, the Government of the Republic of Moldova reaffirms its strong commitments toward full implementation of HABITAT Agenda and the Final Document of this session as a basis for future action and progress.
By adoption the HABITAT Agenda all governments have agreed to take the steps necessary to ensure that affordable, habitable and accessible housing is provided for, and security of tenure is guaranteed. These measures represent the reaffirmation of the right to adequate shelter, that is a place to live in security, peace and dignity.
During the review process of Istanbul Conference my country has been focused on the undertaking of a whole set of current and long-term measures, on the elaboration of a common policy in this field, which provides for the development of normative frameworks and the formation of national mechanisms to implement the principles of sustainable development, including sustainable human settlements.
The social-economic reforms in Moldova oriented to a market economy have led to the establishment of a new concept of urbanism and territory planning. Thus, during this five year period, significant changes have taken place in this sphere: decentralization of the public administration, adoption of a new structure of the territorial administration, consolidation of the capacity building at the local administration level with the view to optimize the whole reform process.
Like other countries with economies in transition, my country is spending a considerable effort to grapple with the challenges of fundamental character. It is obvious that the economic and social problems have turned to be onerous for certain part of population, causing great deficit in municipal housing sector and threatening the steady development of the society. In order to avoid a sharp deterioration in the living standards of the population, a reduction of municipal services, a decline in the efficiency of economic activities and falling into poverty, we must look for the new ways aiming at significant improvement of urban housing sector and municipal infrastructures.
Fully aware of this, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, with the broad support from the civil society and some international agencies, has drawn a comprehensive national strategy for sustainable development - "Moldova 21 ", that contains a profound analysis of the current situation and identifies the main objectives and orientations for the reform of the whole spectrum of the social economic activity, including human settlements.
The realization of the National Cadastre Project oriented to create an informational support and necessary conditions for the development of urban and rural areas constitutes, also, an eloquent example of the implementation of the HABITAT Agenda in my country.
At the same time, our approach in the national strategy program consists in the adoption a well-coordinated set of legislation and implementation of governmental policies directed.. at the objectives of a sound housing and sustainable human settlements development, is the way how to achieve them.
A new dimension in the implementation of the HABITAT Agenda in my country is the active involvement of the private sector and small business in the development of human settlements.
In this context, we share the view expressed by the Executive Director of the of the UN Center for Human Settlements that for a sustained development of human settlements, of adequate housing and of environmental protection the fundamental prerequisite is a consolidated democracy with the pluralistic political representation and rule of law, respecting human rights and civil liberties, supported by a sound economic and social reforms and effective local administration.
Furthermore. we also take into account the importance of the international cooperation, especially with United Nations specialized Agencies.
We are convinced that the implementation of the HABITAT Agenda is possible only with the condition that the declarations and political appeals will be followed by practical steps and real financial resources will be found.
As the primary responsibility for full implementation of the HABITAT Agenda, as well as further actions and initiatives contained in the outcome documents of the current special session of the General Assembly, lies with the Governments, I would like to reaffirm the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Moldova to promote a sustainable human settlements development.
Thank you, Mr. President.