Minister for Regional Development and Construction
of the Republic of Poland

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 (Habitat 11)

New York, 6 June 2001

Mr. President,

At the outset on behalf of the Polish delegation I would like to express our satisfaction at seeing you presiding over the UN General Assembly Special Session devoted to the overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the HABITAT Agenda and congratulate you on the excellent manner in which you have been leading the 55th General Assembly. I would also like to forward words of respect and appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sustainable development of human settlements has a positive impact on the living conditions of societies, especially the family. Improvement of living conditions is reflected in the growth of the sense of security, it contributes to eradication of poverty and homelessness, and creates conditions for the development of the individual, the family and the society.

Today we participate in a session that is to make an overall review of the implementation of activities adopted in Istanbul in 1996 by the participants of the HABITAT II and appraise the effectiveness of our efforts undertaken for sustainable development of human habitation which should unite economic and social development and environment protection with full respect of human dignity and rights.

Guided by the recommendations of the HABITAT II UN Conference on Human Settlements adopted five years ago in Istanbul, the Republic of Poland promotes and applies the principles of sustainable development. The principles have been included in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, whose respective provisions obligate the public authorities to take into consideration the good of the family in the State social and economic policy and to conduct a policy that assures ecological safety to the present and future generations. Consecutive provisions obligate the state to conduct a policy that promotes the satisfaction of housing needs, to counteract homelessness, to develop social housing and to support citizens' activities directed at obtaining their own dwellings.

The provisions of the Constitution are a priority in drafting and introducing documents specifying the long?term, prospective plans, for example the "Strategy of Poland's Sustainable Development till 2025", the program of the "National Profamily Policy", the "Spatial Economy, Real Estate, Housing Construction" strategy, and the just emerging "National Plan of Development".

In its concern for the. proper development of the family, the government of the Republic of Poland has been implementing the program of the "National Profamily Policy" that lists the main targets to be achieved in the coming years. They include the improvement of the population's housing conditions and the limitation of existing negative trends in the population development of the country and the improvement of demographic situation. The family is the main object and the main subject of the housing policies. Implementing the profamily policy, the government aims at creating all the conditions indispensable to the integration of the family, preservation of its unity and protection concordant with the principles of sustainable development. Because the family is the natural community of the human being that should be constantly consolidated, it has the right to full protection and support. We also attach special weight to the recognition of the constructive role of the family in planning human settlements and management of these settlements, in promotion of building peace, in governing by the principles of sustainable development and in counteracting poverty.

The Republic of Poland has adopted as priorities the following measures: further legislative work aimed at securing shelter for the maximum number of families; active policy of public authorities in the eradication of poverty, reduction of unemployment and crime combating; activities related to, the implementation of the principles of sustainable development; support of the development of the civil society and constant development of the quality of international and supranational cooperation.

Fulfilling the obligations contained in the "HABITAT Agenda" program, adopted by UN member states during the "HABITAT II" UN Conference, the government of the Republic of Poland has presented a National Report on the implementation of the "HABITAT Agenda" in Poland.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,

As the head of the delegation of the Republic of Poland I appreciate the significance of the "Declaration on cities and other human settlements in the new millennium". The Polish delegation refers with approval to the draft, considering it as a document that can be translated into concrete activities aimed at the improvement of life quality in human settlements.

The paragraphs of the Declaration relating to the support, consolidation and protection of the family as the basic unit of society as well as to the significance of the family in planning, development and management of human settlements deserve special attention of my country. Poland also appreciates the significance of decentralization of decision-making processes and greater transparency of decision making by public authorities, and fully supports the paragraphs speaking about the role of sustainable development.

I thank you, Mr. President.