STATEMENT
BY

ARCHITECT RAUL FLOREZ GARCIA RADA,
VICE-MINISTER OF HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION,

BEFORE THE XXV 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 (HABITAT II)

NEW YORK, 06 JUNE 2001

Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen ,
Ministers Delegates,

The people and the new Transition Government of Peru offer their greetings to the representatives of the countries and to the conclusion of the preparatory process managed by Ambassador Garcia Durand of Colombia, that will permit the adoption of conclusions and of the Declaration that this Special Session will have in its hands.

Our country has been undergoing a process of democratic reinstitutionalization for the past six months, seeking to create the conditions to overcome a decade of political crisis marked by centralism and structural corruption.

Peru is characterized by its bio-diversity, heterogeneity and its great potential of natural, historic and human resources. Its vast territory, the third in size in South America, is very rugged, with fragile eco-systems, and suffers cyclic phenomena.

Three fourths of its 26 million people live in cities. But Lima holds a third of the population (8 million). Half of the population is poor and 15% is extremely poor. Nevertheless, this population has built its dwellings, which even though they have been raised informally, offer notable examples of social solidarity for the international community with regard to local initiatives.

During the past decade, the State took care of the housing problem through isolated but effective institutions. The coverage of public services was substantially expanded to now cover 75% of the total population that now have access to drinking water, sewage and electricity. One million and a half ownership titles of lands (75% of the informal lots) were also granted as well as more than half a million loans to build their own dwellings -equivalent to US $ 600 million.

However, Mr. President, when the integral, explicit and coordinated policies were eliminated, the housing sector, urban development and territorial order were destroyed. The local governments were weakened - by reducing their economic resources and powers. The access of civil society to the decision taking process was restricted and the ground roots organizations were politically manipulated.

In sum, the housing problem was worsened for low income sectors, demonstrating that this route was not feasible in the long term.

Our Transition Government:
- Is rebuilding the institutionality of the public housing and urban development sector -that is, the creating of committees to coordinate the struggle against poverty to resolve upon social investment;

- It is reinforcing local governments -that.is, by returning the powers to issue property titles, manage public transportation, have initiatives for housing programs, to promote Agenda 21;

- It is creating the conditions to attract resources from the private sector and international cooperation;

- It is working with the ground roots organizations of civil society in designing housing and urban development policies, programs and projects;

- It is proposing models of territorial order and strategies of urban consolidation to develop the already prepared areas of the cities with job creation- see the creation of the participatory management program of Mibarrio;

These policy measures are in accordance with the basic principles of Habitat II, by promoting the broadest participation of the different public and private bodies in the application of the National Action Program. And it welcomes the Report of the Executive Director of the Habitat Center, which we receive with satisfaction.

We therefore believe that the habitat problems in Peru can be resolved on the basis of an initiative of the State to facilitate their application that promotes civic commitment, solidarity, participation and training, devotion .to public service and the mobilization and efficient management of the available resources.
Thank you.