A. Renewing the commitments made at the United Nations Conference
on Human Settlements (Habitat II)

1. Reaffirm that human beings are at the centre of our concern for sustainable development and that they are the basis for our actions in implementing the Habitat Agenda;

2. Wish to stress that this is a special moment in the development of human settlements, when half of the world’s six billion people will be living in cities and the world is facing unprecedented growth of urban population, mainly in the developing world. The decisions we make now will have far-reaching consequences. We note with great concern that one out of four of the world’s urban population is living below the poverty line. In many cities, confronted with rapid growth, environmental problems and the slow pace of economic development, it has not been possible to meet the challenges of generating sufficient employment, providing adequate housing and meeting the basic needs of the citizens;

3. Re-emphasize that rural and urban areas are economically, socially and environmentally interdependent, and that cities and towns are engines of growth contributing to the development of both rural and urban human settlements. Half of the world’s inhabitants live in rural settlements, and, in Africa and Asia, the population in the rural areas represents a majority. Integrated physical planning and balanced attention to rural and urban living conditions are of crucial importance for all nations. Full advantage must be taken of the complementary contributions and linkages between rural and urban areas, by giving appropriate attention to their different economic, social and environmental requirements. While addressing urban poverty, it is also essential to eradicate rural poverty and to improve living conditions, as well as to create employment and educational opportunities in rural settlements and small and medium-sized cities and towns in rural areas;

4. Reconfirm our determination to address at all levels the deteriorating environmental conditions that threaten the health and quality of life of billions of people. Some activities at the local level that degrade the environment have implications at the global level and need to be addressed in the context of human settlements;

5. Reconfirm the goals and principles of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world, as set out in the Habitat Agenda, which form the basis of our commitments;

6. Renew and reaffirm our commitments in the Habitat Agenda concerning adequate shelter for all, sustainable human settlements, enablement and participation, gender equality, financing shelter and human settlements, international cooperation, and assessing progress;

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