Human Development Report 2013 Launched: Albania in the high human development category

15 Mar 2013

image UNDP Director, Yesim Oruc during the presantation of 2013 Human Development Report in Tirana

Leading countries of the developing world are together reshaping global power dynamics a new era of human development progress, says “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World,” the 2013 Human Development Report, launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here today.

“The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” says the Report. “The South as a whole is driving global economic growth and societal change for the first time in centuries.”

Nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are on the frontier of that change: “Connecting the North and the rising South is the transforming East,” the Report says, referring to the region.

"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", UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun highlighted during her speech.

Dozens of developing countries worldwide have achieved impressive growth and dramatically improved peoples’ lives with pragmatic policies that typically combine strong government leadership, open markets and imaginative social programs, the Report says.

“The 2013 Report makes a significant contribution to development thinking by describing specific drivers of development transformation and by suggesting future policy priorities that could help sustain such momentum,” writes UNDP administrator Helen Clark in the Report’s foreword.

Some of the largest countries have made rapid advances, notably Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey. But there has also been substantial progress in smaller economies, such as Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, Thailand and Tunisia.

The experience of many states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in managing a rapid transition from centrally planned to market economies holds useful lessons for developing countries elsewhere, says the Report. The first phase of the transformation began with a sharp drop in living standards and human development. While each country managed a subsequent recovery, the overall experience underscores the importance of social inclusion and a responsible role for the state.

A major lesson from two decades of transition is that the state has a critical role in creating an environment for inclusive growth and societies. “Abruptly abandoning areas of responsibility by the state or insisting on rapid privatization of all state-owned companies may prove very costly for societies in the long run,” the Report says. But reforms to strengthen national institutions’ transparency and accountability and to limit corruption are necessary to improve governance, the Report stresses.

But the South faces shared challenges – aging, the environment, political pressures and inequality – and countries will need new domestic policy initiatives as well as international action to continue human development momentum.

Many countries of the region - such as Croatia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkey - have become increasingly important aid donors, with disbursements exceeding $4 billion in 2011. These emerging donors are also active in bilateral or trilateral exchange of knowledge with countries with common heritage or beyond.

The Report argues that the emergence of a new South is shaking up existing global institutions, creating new ones, and showing new ways that countries and regions can work together. The Report argues that the South needs greater representation, but in reformed and reimagined global institutions.

Albania’s HDI value for 2012 is 0.749—in the high human development category—positioning the country at 70 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1985 and 2012, Albania’s HDI value increased from 0.651 to 0.749, an increase of 15 percent or average annual increase of about 0.5 percent.

The rise of the South should be seen as beneficial for all countries and regions, the Report concludes: Human Development is not a zero-sum game.

“The South needs the North, and increasingly the North needs the South,” the Report says. “The world is getting more connected, not less.”

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Download the speech of Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative