The Seoul Declaration (5 November 2015)

THE 5TH ASIA PACIFIC MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (APMCHUD)

Seoul, 3-5 November 2014

THE SEOUL DECLARATION

We, the Asia-Pacific Ministers responsible for Housing and Urban Development, meeting in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on November 3-5, 2014, to consider the challenges of and to explore opportunities for sustainable housing and urbanization in Asia and the Pacific;

Express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Korea for the excellent arrangements of the Fifth Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) and our gratitude to the people of the Republic of Korea for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to us throughout our stay;

Also express our sincere thanks to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for successfully chairing the 4th Bureau of APMCHUD and providing excellent leadership and guidance during its tenure;

Convey our gratitude to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat for the support provided by UN­ Habitat since the creation of APMCHUD;

Thank with appreciation the Government of India and in particular the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation for the continued hosting of the Permanent Secretariat of APMCHUD in New Delhi;

Appreciate the initiative of the Governments of Sri Lanka and the Maldives to jointly and newly take the lead of Working Group 3, on the delivery of basic services; and thank the other lead countries for their continuing support to the respective working groups;

Reaffirm our determination to realize the goals and objectives of APMCHUD as set forth in the first

Declaration in Delhi and the subsequent commitments agreed in Teheran, Solo and Amman;

Take note of regional, economic, geographical, social and environmental inequality as manifest in widening income disparities, limited accessibility to information, gender discrimination and deepening gaps in access to housing, health and basic services and education;

Acknowledge the need for the APMCHUD member nations to protect their underprivileged suffering from overcrowding, slums, urban sprawl and infrastructure deficiencies;

Take note with concern that the progress on MDG 7, to ensure environmental sustainability, especially with regard to the targets on safe drinking water, basic sanitation and the improvement of the lives of slum dwellers, and the advancement of sustainable waste management and transportation are still uneven within the region;

Also realize the vibrancy of the Asia Pacific region in terms of economic development, productivity and youth, and appreciate its economic, historical, religious and political diversities;

Moreover   accepting the significance of providing every member of society with equal opportunities irrespective of gender, race, social class or income for prosperity based on merit;

Take recognizance of the need to foster equal opportunities for sustainable urban development and accordingly to collaborate, share experience and develop innovative methodologies;

Appreciate the Medellin Declaration of World Urban Forum 7 on Equity as a Foundation of Sustainable Urban Development;

Also appreciate the contribution from the Republic of Korea, through the sharing of its rich knowledge on Sustainable Housing Finance Strategies and Urban Regeneration methodologies;

Anticipate the decisions for the Post-2015 Development Agenda emphasizing the linkage between sustainable urbanization and sustainable development, the agreement on the urban Sustainable Development Goal, and the formulation of the New Urban Agenda in Habitat Ill in 2016;

Moreover, appreciate that the Government of Malaysia will host the World Urban Forum in Kuala

Lumpur and bring it again to Asia and the Pacific in 2018, as a result of its successful bid for WUF9;

And, Appreciating the opportunities we have as Ministers responsible for Housing and Urban

Development, decide:

  1. To deepen our commitment to collaboration and cooperation in the region to make cities and human settlements integrated, inclusive, sustainable and resilient;
  1. 2.   To develop and implement innovative national policies promoting inclusiveness and equity in national planning, urban development and infrastructure expansion, leading to equal opportunities for prosperity based on merit;
  1. To encourage increased investment in ICT infrastructure to make sustainable urban governance accessible to all citizens;
  1. 4.   To promote   urban design and housing construction technologies to address rapid urbanization and the risk of natural disasters, and to develop environment-friendly, energy saving urban solutions to combat climate changes, doing so with all stakeholders including the private sector;
  1. To increase cooperation among APMCHUD member countries in the housing   and urban development sectors, through knowledge sharing programs centering on best practices and policies;
  1. To recognize the importance of Habitat Ill for APMCHUD member countries and to resolve to prepare a roadmap to   participate in Habitat Ill and the formulation of the “New Urban Agenda”;
  1. To commit, in particular, to actively engage in 25th Session of the Governing Council of UN­ Habitat, the Habitat Ill Preparatory Committees, the 2015 Asia-Pacific Urban Forum convened through the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the forthcoming High-Level Regional (Asia-Pacific) Preparatory Meeting for Habitat Ill hosted by Indonesia; and to welcome Indonesia to host Prep-com Ill in 2016, subject to the decision by the General Assembly;
  1. To adopt the Seoul Implementation Plan as prepared by the five working groups.
  1. To continue with the Working Groups as follows:
  • WG1Urban and Rural Planning and Management with a sub-theme Inclusive Urban Planning,
  • WG2 Upgrading of Slums and Informal Settlements with a sub-theme Upgrading Slums toward Equal Opportunity for the Underprivileged,
  • WG3 Delivery of Basic Services with a sub-theme of Inclusive Technology for the Delivery of Basic Services,
  • WG4 Financing Sustainable Housing with a sub-theme of Housing Finance for Equal Opportunity,
  • WGS Urban Development with a focus on Natural and Climate Change related Disasters with a sub-theme of Urban Development for Equal Opportunity Responding to Natural and Climate Change related Disasters.
  1. To endorse the composition of the sth Bureau of APMCHUD with its members being Ministers representing:

a. Republic of Korea
b. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
c. Republic of India
d. Republic of Indonesia
e. Islamic Republic of Iran
f. Republic of Iraq
g. Republic of Maldives
h. Independent State of Samoa
i. People’s Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

  1. To request the current chair of APMCHUD to ensure the implementation of this declaration,in collaboration with other members of the Bureau, the APMCHUD Secretariat and UN-Habitat, and to receive regular updates;
  1. To reiterate our commitment to strengthen the APMCHUD Secretariat, while encouraging member nations to contribute in line with the Amman Declaration;
  1. To welcome the offer by the Government of India to host the 6th Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development in New Delhi in 2016.

Adopted at Seoul on sth November, 2014

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