Environment for People Belarus - 1996
The Report is dedicated to the second UN Conference on Human Settlements HABITAT-II held in Istanbul in June 1996 which is the latest in a series of the UN global conferences. The Report provides facts and information enabling the assessment of the living environment in urban and rural settlements, as well as in towns and cities of different size. It features both the social achievements which should not be lost and the difficulties of the transition which still should be overcome.
Quality of the living environment is the overall measurement of the progress achieved in transforming the society, reforming the economy, strengthening people's social security. Therefore, a deep and extensive analysis of the current situation and of the negative and positive trends in its development will help formulate an action plan towards improving the people's living conditions.
It is worth mentioning that the present report is published in the year declared by the UN General Assembly the International Year of the Eradication of Poverty. Falling personal incomes and rising numbers of the poor is yet another negative effect of the transition, and, possibly, the most adverse one. Typical for any country in transition, poverty as a societal phenomenon was practically unknown in Belarus before the onset of the crisis. That is why the issue of growing poverty was reflected in the Report as well.
The focus of this publication on sustainable human development themes along with the diverse and well-illustrated information on Belarus benefit to both those who have heard of it but know a little about its people and nature, and those who have yet to re-discover this country with an eventful past, difficult present and an undoubtedly bright future. The Report contributes to Belarus' fuller participation in international development cooperation on global and regional arenas and hereby to taking its rightful place in the world community.