Launch of the Global Human Development Report 2013

15 Mar 2013

Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Launch of the Global Human Development Report 2013

Representatives of the media,

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

We are gathered here today to launch in Albania the UNDP Global Human Development Report 2013. The report was launched globally yesterday in Mexico by UNDP’s Administrator Helen Clark and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

 Since 1990 UNDP’s Human Development Reports initiated and have continued to help drive the evolution of the human development concept. By putting people at the centre of development, these reports have offered ground breaking analysis on a wide range of critical issues. People’s participation, human security, technology, environment, globalization, human rights and democratic governance are some of the themes that have been covered over the years.

 This year, the report’s theme is “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” and looks at the evolving geopolitics of our times, examining emerging issues and trends and also the new actors which are shaping the development landscape. The Report points out that the rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale. This phenomenon goes well beyond middle income countries often represented by Brazil, Russia, India and China. More than 40 developing countries have made greater human development gains that significantly outpaced global norms in recent decades. These achievements, the report argues, are largely attributable to sustained investment in education, healthcare and social programmes, and open engagement with an increasingly interconnected world.

 This historic progress is creating opportunities for the South and the North to collaborate in new ways to advance human. Countries across the South are extending trade, technology and policy ties throughout the North, while the North is looking South for new partnerships that can promote global growth and development. On the other hand, the Report underlines the role of the South in driving global economic growth and societal change. For instance, migration between developing countries recently surpassed net migration from South to North, while trade between countries in the South will overtake that between developed nations.

Despite great differences in their histories, political systems, economic profiles and development priorities, the South countries share some key characteristics as most were proactive “developmental states” that sought to take strategic advantage of opportunities offered by world trade. They also invested heavily in human capital through health and education programs and other essential social services. The report outlines four policy priorities that stand out for developing countries over the next few years if they are to continue the gains of recent decades. (i) enhancing equity; (ii) enabling voice and participation; (iii) confronting environmental pressures and (iv) managing demographic change.

The Report argues that the South needs greater representation in global governance, which also requires assuming greater responsibility. The convening of a new “South Commission” is proposed, where developing countries can take the lead in suggesting constructive new approaches to effective global governance. The rise of the South and its potential for accelerating progress for future generations should be seen as beneficial for all countries and regions, as living standards improve and the world as whole becomes ever more deeply interdependent.

 As usual, the report publishes also the Human Development Index world rankings. Over the past decades, countries across the world have been converging towards higher levels of human development as all groups and regions have seen notable improvement with faster progress in low and medium HDI countries. On this basis, the world is becoming less unequal.

 Albania’s is positioned among the countries with a high human development – 70th out of 187 countries and territories. In terms of Gender Inequality Index, that reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity, Albania ranks 41st out of 148 countries.