Mr. President, Your Excellencies
Head of States and Governments, Distinguished Heads of Delegation, The
UN Secretary General Distinguished Representatives of International Organisations,
Distinguished Delegates and Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like at the outset to associate
myself with previous speakers to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your
election to preside over this high profile meeting which we all hope will
have great bearing on the status of global human settlements.
I also avail myself of this occasion, on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, to
commend the United Nations Organisation for organising a series of meetings which culminated in Habitat II in Istanbul five years ago. I am personally gratified by this opportunity to represent President Benjamin Mkapa both at Habitat II in Istanbul and now in this follow-up meeting.
The Declaration and Agenda of Habitat II constitute a reaffirmation of the commitment to better standards of living within adequate settlements for all the people. The United Republic of Tanzania fully subscribes to this ideal and we have undertaken the following measures in compliance:
1.In conformity with the UN campaign towards secure land tenure our National Land Policy aims at promoting a system that facilitates broadbased social and economic development by all sections of the community without endangering the ecological balance of the environment.
2. The National Human Settlements Development Policy has been developed with the aim of attracting and harnessing existing initiatives in shelter delivery and investment in provision of infrastructure by various actors in the public, private, informal and community sectors as well as guiding the rapid urban growth and the transformation of the settlement pattern.
3. The government is undertaking a decentralisation exercise with a view to strengthening local authorities which are now considered as very effective institutions of development. A local government reform has been going on for more than five years now. We believe that under this arrangement local authorities will be able to fulfil their new role in a world of cities and towns and ether settlements faced with the challenge of good urban governance.
4. Also in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda the government has made substantive progress through implementing the Sustainable Cites Programme co-sponsored by HABITAT and UNEP. Under the Programme, the government is implementing an Environmental Planning and Management approach which seeks to promote partnership and participatory arrangements among city or town stakeholders. Areas where this approach has been implemented effectively include community infrastructure upgrading, settlement regularisation and solid waste management. The programme is now being replicated in all towns in the country. These programmes are being presented at this meeting through the Thematic Committee. Tanzania is looking forward to sharing experiences and learn from others in this area so as to better our performance. It is for this reason that I invite delegations to participate in our presentation.
The Government of Tanzania takes
a holistic approach to sustainable hymen settlements. It was pointed out
at the Cairo Conference on population teat despite their attendant negative
impact on the environment the agglomerations of mega cities are at the
same time dynamic centres of development. In this regard, we place the
issue of shelter in the centext of overall socioeconomic development to
improve the quality of life in the rural areas so as to dissuade rampant
migration while simultaneously working on strategies for proper management
of urban habitat to take full advantage of the positive economic direction
envisaged from our recent
However, this review of institutional
and legislative frameworks aimed at empowering the people to properly manage
their habitat, is encumbered by certain constraints, including,
· The paucity of housing finance institutions, which calls for development of incremental and complimentary forms of soft, terms low-income. housing projects, and
· The expansion of informal settlements, which are a great concern for both central government and local authorities.
Poverty is at the root of environmental degradation and unsustainable human settlements. For our programmes of proper management of the human habitat in the developing world to survive, it is imperative, therefore, that the rich countries be willing to step up their support of our poverty alleviation efforts.
International assistance continues to play an important role in the development efforts of Tanzania and
consequently it contributes significantly to sustainable human-settlements development. Far example in 1998
external assistance constituted 11.8% of Gross Domestic Product (DPG). The Government recognises that
enhancing international co-operation is necessary for improving human settlement development. Critical areas which need to be addressed include the following:
Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Official Development Assistance to poor countries. had almost halved in 1990s. The developing countries are calling for the reversal on the declining trend of ODA to reach the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of GNP of the developed countries economies.
External Debt Problem
Developing countries are calling for immediate and full
cancellation of bilateral and write-off of all multilateral
debts This should cover both poor countries in HIPC and those outside HIPC initiative.
While it is generally recognised that trade is a major ingredient in the development of ail countries, the share of Least Developed Countries in international trade remains disappointingly low, standing at 0.4% in 1998. Supply side constraints as well as the problem of access to markets of developed countries are the major factors inhibiting growth of trade of poor countries.
In order to address the supply side constraints (i.e. weak productive capacity) developing countries are calling for support in form of technology transfer, capacity building, development of infrastructure,, financial assistance and quote and duty-free accesss to markets.
I will conclude by expressing Tanzanians expectation that this meeting will result in the following commitments.
(a) Overcoming obstacles encountered in implementing the HABITAT Agenda, especially poverty, which is considered to be the major underlying factor in the creation of inadequate settlements. The importance of developing poverty eradication strategy to encourage social and economic policies that are designed to meet the housing needs of the people cannot be overemphasised.
(b) To enhance the capacity building of the revitalised Habitat Centre in Nairobi so that it can contribute effectively to local initiative. Tanzania is proud that this revitalised Centre is headed by one of our most illustrious citizens, Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, whose credentials are widely acknowledged.
(c) Invite governments, the UN and international organisations to strengthen the quality and consistence of their support to poi eradication and sustainable human settlements development, particularly to the Least Developed Countries (LDCS).
With these comments, I wish this
special session successful deliberation.