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Growth to be the focus of Ministerial Conference

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 21:51 IST

The adoption of a draft framework for action and the Delhi Declaration will be the highlight of the first Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Human Settlements on December 13-16.

The four-day conference will discuss issues like pro-poor urban governance and planning, water and sanitation, slum upgradation, unbanisation and slum development.

Over 500 delegates from 69 Asia-Pacific countries will put their heads together to develop strategies and policies for habitat development and exchange ideas on land and housing and poverty alleviation issues so that the challenge of urbanisation can be turned into an opportunity for development. The objective: to provide a "vision for sustainable urbanisation" in the region by 2020.

The magnitude of the challenge is evident from the fact that 43.2 per cent of the urban population of Asia and Pacific countries lives in slums. There are fears that unless urgent action is taken, the global slum population may reach 1.4 billion by 2020, with one of every two persons coming from slums.

The conference will be addressed by President APJ Abdul Kalam, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Union Ministers Jaipal Reddy while Kumari Selja whose Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Urban Employment has organised the meeting jointly with the UN Habitat, will inaugurate the exhibition. UN Under Secretary General, Anna Tibaijuka will represent UN Habitat.

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