2013 Human Development Report presented in Brussels

Apr 25, 2013

Olav Kjørven, from UNDP, and. Gustavo Martin Prada, from the European Commission, at the 2013 Human Development Report public round table in Brussels (23 April 2013). Photo: UNRIC.

The 2013 Human Development Report -"The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World" was officially presented in Brussels at a public round table event held on 23 April 2013.

Mr. Olav Kjørven, Assistant UN Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy, highlighted the main findings and conclusions of the report. Other panelists at the event included Mr. Gustavo Martin Prada, Director of the Division for Development Policy, at the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, of the European Commission, Mr. Stephan Auer, Director for Multilateral Relations and Global Issues of the European External Action Service, and H.E. Mrs. Ismat Jahan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to Belgium and the European Union. The event was introduced and moderated by Professor Andrew Martin Fischer, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (part of the Rotterdam Erasmus University).

The panelists discussed the theme of the report, “rise of the South” and the implications of the tectonic shift in global development that the data in the report highlights, particularly for Europe and the European Union. The panelists also acknowledged that policy driven by MDG guidelines contributed to the rapid advances made by some of the largest countries, particularly Brazil, China and Turkey, but also some smaller economies, such as Bangladesh.

The existence of a proactive “developmental state”, the investment on health, education, and social protection, and the integration of these countries into global markets were some of the major factors leading to progress in terms of Human Development mentioned by the speakers.

In addition, the panel members stressed that failure to ensure an accountable and inclusive governance system may lead to discontent and civil strife, having a negative impact on economic growth. The Arab spring, which came about when citizens demanded a new social contract despite consistent progress made in terms of Human Development in most Arab States, was mentioned as an example of this.

In conclusion, the speakers recalled some the major recommendations of the 2013 Human Development Report, including the need to review the existing system for international development and global governance, and the urgency posed by the climate change challenge.

The 2013 Human Development Report was also presented by Mr. Olav Kjørven on 24 April 2013 to a special joint meeting of the Committees on Development and Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Belgium.

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