UNDP Global Human Development Report 2011 launch in the Republic of Korea

Dec 5, 2011

Panelists from the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, the Korean Government and academia discuss the 2011 Human development report at Korea University in Seoul.

The UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and Korea University, with co-sponsorship from the Ministry of Foreign and Trade, launched the 2011 UNDP Global Human Development Report on ‘Sustainability and equity: A better future for all’ at Korea University today.

‘As we move towards Rio+20 we must redouble our efforts to fully integrate the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental to ensure that the poorest people, nations and marginalized are not left behind’ said Ms Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau, in her introductory remarks. She also said that closing the financing gap requires innovative thinking, private sector funding and proactive public investment.

At the launch event Prof. Young-Sup Yun, Executive Vice President for External Affairs of Korea University, Prof. Sung-Hoon Park, Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies of Korea University, Yoo Hye-ran, Deputy Director-General for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau, Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Center shared their remarks with a large audience of ambassadors, research institutions, academia, UN agencies and students.

The presentation of the Human Development Report was followed by a stimulating discussion launched by Professor Cuz Potter, Professor of Urban Planning and International Development of Korea University.

Participants acknowledged the interconnected challenges of climate change and poverty reduction and emphasized the need to boost sustainability and equity in development policies. Highlights included the sharing of experiences from key participants.

Ambassadors share their countries experiences

Personal testimonies from the Ambassadors of Bangladesh, Peru and Kenya helped shine a light on real challenges and solutions related to the issues raised in the Report from their own countries.

Mr. Shahidul Islam, the Ambassador of Bangladesh, explained the vulnerability of Bangladesh to floods and cyclones, which have worsened through climate change, threatening the country’s achievement in increasing income and reducing poverty. ‘For Bangladesh, climate change is not only an environmental issue, but also a development issue’ he said. He indicated that over the past 40 years Bangladesh has invested over 10 billion USD to reduce to the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters and expand community based disaster preparedness through the 2005 National Plan of Action and the six pillar Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

Ms. Marcela Lopez-Bravo, the Ambassador of Peru spoke of national measures to reduce social inequity.

Mr Ngovi Kitau, Ambassador of Kenya, spoke of the impact of climate change and degradation in his country as well as Government policies and other mitigation measures to meet the challenges in various sectors. He also presented Kenya’s climate change Governance structure.

Sustainability and equity

The report argues that the integral links between environmental sustainability and equity are thus critical to expanding human freedoms for people today and in generations to come. Furthermore, the remarkable progress in human development over recent decades cannot continue without bold global steps to reduce environmental risks and inequality. The HDR 2011 identifies pathways for people, communities, countries and the international community to promote environmental sustainability and equity in mutually reinforcing ways.

The 2011 Human Development Report argues that environmental sustainability can be most effectively achieved by simultaneously addressing health, education, income, and gender disparities within and among countries.

The Human Development Report (HDR), an annual milestone publication of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is an independent report and the product of a selected team of leading scholars, development practitioners and members of the Human Development Report Office of UNDP.

Human Development in the Republic of Korea

The Human Development Index (HDI)—the Report’s annual ranking of national achievement in health, education and income—puts two Asian countries in the top tier: Japan, (#12) and the Republic of Korea (#15). Afghanistan, by contrast, at #172 in the HDI, ranks as the world’s least developed nation outside sub-Saharan Africa.

In the 2011 Report’s Gender Inequality Index (GII), South Asian women are shown to lag significantly behind men in education, parliamentary representation and labour force participation. Of the 146 nations ranked in the GII, The Republic of Korea ranks #11 in this index, with however, only 14.7 per cent of parliamentary seats held by women, despite 79.4 per cent of adult women reaching secondary or higher level of education compared to 91.7 for males. Female participation in the labour market is still 50.1 per cent compared to 72 per cent for men.

The 2011 HDI covers 187 nations and territories, the most since the UNDP began publishing the Human Development Report in 1990.

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