“The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” Launch of 2013 HDR Report

Apr 3, 2013

3 April, Thimphu | The 2013 Human Development Report (HDR) themed “The Rise of the South: Human Progess in a Diverse World” highlights the unprecedented rate of economic development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The 2013 HDR was globally launched by the UNDP Administrator, Ms Helen Clark on 14 March 2013, in Mexico City. The report covers 187 countries and territories and Bhutan ranks 140 in the medium human development category. According to the Report, the rise of the South is unprecedented both in terms of its speed and scale.

With living standards rising in much of the South, people living in extreme income poverty worldwide plunged from 43 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2008, including more than 500 million people lifted from poverty in China alone. As a result, the world has already achieved the main poverty eradication target of the Millennium Development Goals, which called for the share of people living on less than US$1.25 a day to be cut by half from 1990 to 2015.

Several leading nations of the South are creating new paradigms for advancing human development and reducing inequalities, through innovative social policies that are increasingly studied and emulated worldwide. Pioneering cash-transfer programmes in Brazil, India and Mexico have helped to narrow income gaps and improve health and education in poor communities, the Report says.

The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has also been making remarkable efforts on promoting economic development, particularly the marginalized groups through socio-economic programmes (and reforms), and by adopting international and national legislations. Led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bhutan has also made concerted efforts in revising its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in 2010 and as a result it has attracted significant numbers of FDI projects (13 projects as of December 2012) in Bhutan.

Human Development reporting transforms goals for poverty reduction and human development into benchmarks, plans and approaches for national, regional and international action. A growing number of middle-income developing countries now provide technical assistance as well as financial aid without explicit conditions on economic policy or approaches to governance, giving greater priority to the needs identified by receiving countries. 

The HDRs make recommendations for change that generate attention and debate among stakeholders and policy makers, and they raise public awareness of ideas about human development. They promote resource mobilization in key areas of development and trigger responses to the needs of the most vulnerable in society. The reports are globally recognized as a reliable indicator of a country’s capacity to care for its citizens.

The 2013 HDR “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” will be jointly launched in Bhutan by UNDP and the Gross National Happiness Commission. The event will take place at the Taj Tashi Conference Hall.