Twenty-fifth special session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation and outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II)
7 June 2001 New York
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. It gives me great pleasure, Mr. President, to see you preside over this important special session of the General Assembly. I am confident that with your able leadership and diplomatic skill, you will steer the work of this session to a successful conclusion. Mr. President,
Maldives being a nation of very small islands had to face the issues of shelter in its own special way. Due to the fragmented nature of the country, with the population distributed over a large number of small islands, provision of infrastructure to small pockets of population, on an effective and sustainable manner, required new thinking in planning. At present a very important policy related to human settlements in the Maldives is a new approach to regional planning in which effective provision of various social and physical infrastructure services programme on population concentration has been initiated. Islands with very small population are encouraged to move to selected islands with bigger land area and development potential. In the long term there will be less number of inhabited islands, which will have better facilities, and attract economically feasible and sustainable investments in infrastructure. Although this system of movement of population is a difficult process, the government of Maldives is able to carry out the population concentration programme by involving the public in the decision making process. Since the population involved is convinced of the various benefits that lie in this new approach, the success rate of implementation is very encouraging. We believe that this new approach to planning is an important step that we have taken in implementing the Habitat Agenda in our...
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