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General Assembly

Distr: General
5 December 1980
Original: English

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Thirty-fifth session
Agenda item 61 l

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

35/76. Strengthening of human settlements activities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 34/116 of 14 December 1979 on the strengthening of human settlements activities,

Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolutions 1224 (XLII) of 6 June 1967 and 1670 (LII) of 1 June 1972 concerning the improvement and upgrading of living and environmental conditions in the squatter settlements and slums of urban and rural areas,

Recognizing that one of the most urgent needs in developing countries is to upgrade the living and working conditions of low-income and disadvantaged groups in both rural and urban areas.

Reaffirming that adequate shelter and services are a basic human right. as proclaimed in the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, 1976,/139 and that, in striving to uphold this right, priority must be given to the needs of the poor, the homeless and the most vulnerable groups of society,

Noting with concern that, in the years that have elapsed since the convening of Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, the conditions of human settlements in developing countries have, by and large, worsened, particularly in the urban areas, where the growth of slums and squatter settlements has continued unabated. in the midst of poverty, squalor, overcrowding and human degradation,

Noting also that an increasing number of Governments are committed to upgrading low-income urban settlements and to improving the quality of life in rural areas and that, although some progress has been achieved in these directions, much remains to be accomplished,

Recognizing that it is necessary to translate the recommendations of Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements into action-oriented programmes and thereby renew the spirit and sense of purpose proclaimed at the Conference,

Recognizing also that the provision of housing, infrastructure and services can constitute a major instrument and thrust for combating poverty, improving the environmental conditions and quality of life, increasing productivity, generating employment and income and extending the fruits of economic progress to the poor and the needy,

Noting with satisfaction that the Commission on Human Settlements, at its third session, reviewed especially, as selected themes of importance, the upgrading of urban slums and squatter settlements and the development of rural settlements and growth centres, and requested the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) to continue to give high priority to these two subjects within the work programme and the medium-term plan of the Centre and to assist developing countries in related practical programmes and pilot demonstration projects,/140

Considering that the international community should take concrete steps to support the efforts of the developing countries to improve living conditions in both their urban and their rural sectors, especially for the benefit of underprivileged groups,

1.Urges Member States, within the framework of their national plans and priorities, to strengthen their policies regarding human settlements and to undertake concrete action-oriented programmes to implement the recommendations adopted by Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, with special emphasis on the provision of adequate shelter, infrastructure and services to the people living in squatter settlements and slums of urban and rural areas;

2.Calls upon the Commission on Human Settlements and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) to provide all possible support to Member States in the implementation of the above-mentioned programmes;

3.Expresses the view that an international year devoted to the problems of homeless people in urban and rural areas in the developing countries could be an appropriate occasion to focus the attention of the international community on those problems;

4.Requests the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements to submit a report, after appropriate consultations with Governments, to the Economic and Social Council, through the Commission on Human Settlements at its fourth session, on the implications of declaring an international year, which would be committed to providing homes for the poor and the homeless and would focus world-wide attention on the rehabilitation of the shanty-dweller, taking into account the guidelines for future international years adopted by the Council in its resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 and by the General Assembly in its decision 35/424 of 5 December 1980, and in accordance also with the goals and objectives of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade in the social field;/141

5.Requests the Commission on Human Settlements to review the report at its fourth session and to transmit it, with the Commission's comments, to the Economic and Social Council for consideration at its second regular session of 1981, taking into account the guidelines referred to in paragraph 4 above.

83rd plenary meeting
5 December 1980


139/ See Report of Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements", Vancouver. 31 May-11 June 1976 (United Nations publication. Sales No E.76.IV.7 and corrigendum), chap.I.

140/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No.8 (A/35/8), annex I. decisions 3/13 and 3/14. 141/ See resolution 35/56 above, annex, sect. II.