B. Welcoming progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda

7. Commend the efforts by all levels of government, the United Nations, other intergovernmental organizations and Habitat Agenda partners as well as those by the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and welcome the progress made thus far towards implementation of the Habitat Agenda. We note with appreciation the national and regional reports on the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) on the review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, taking into account the specific priorities and objectives of each region, and in conformity with the legal framework and national policies of each country;

8. Welcome the decision by the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-sixth session that the Special Rapporteur whose mandate will focus on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living should, as a part of his mandate, develop a regular dialogue and discuss possible areas of collaboration with Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, international organizations in the field of housing rights, including the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions, and make recommendations on the realization of the rights relevant to the mandate;

9. Also take note with satisfaction of the growing awareness of the need to address in an integrated manner poverty, homelessness, unemployment, lack of basic services, exclusion of women and of children and marginalized groups, including indigenous communities, and social fragmentation in order to achieve better, more liveable and inclusive human settlements worldwide. Governments, international organizations and members of civil society have made continuous efforts to address these problems;

10. Take note of the development of integrated and participatory approaches to urban environmental planning and management in relation to the implementation of Agenda 21. In this regard we welcome the support provided by many Governments to mechanisms for consultations and partnerships among interested parties to prepare and implement local environmental plans and local Agenda 21 initiatives;

11. Welcome the increasing economic role of cities and towns in our globalizing world and the progress made in forging public-private partnerships and strengthening small and microenterprises. Cities and towns hold the potential to maximize the benefits and to offset the negative consequences of globalization. Well-managed cities can provide an economic environment capable of generating employment opportunities as well as offering a diversity of goods and services;

12. Welcome the efforts made so far by many developing countries in effecting decentralization in the management of cities as a means of strengthening the operation of the local authorities in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda;

13. Also welcome the contributions of national and other Governments, which have the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda through their laws, policies and programmes;

14. Appreciate the important contribution made by local authorities worldwide in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda through concerted efforts and strengthened partnerships between Governments at all levels, resulting in the improved condition of human settlements, including improved urban governance. Broad-based participation in decision-making, together with accountability, simplicity of procedures and transparency, is imperative to prevent corruption and to promote public interests. In this regard, we note with satisfaction the increased priority given to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and to the principles of good governance at all levels;

15. Recognize the important work done by the Global Parliamentarians on Habitat in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. At the same time, we encourage them to continue promoting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda;

16. Recognize that the overall thrust of the new strategic vision of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and its emphasis on the two global campaigns on secure tenure and urban governance are strategic points of entry for the effective implementation of the Habitat Agenda, especially for guiding international cooperation on adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development. In this regard, we welcome the establishment of the Advisory Committee of Local Authorities and express our appreciation for its contributions to the work of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the preparation of the special session of the General Assembly;

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