“Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World”

Recent times have been tough for humanity, the world has been in a turbulent state, facing multiple crisis’s that require complex solutions, people all over the globe are overwhelmed by unrest, fronting illness, conflict, and disaster. A shift of direction is crucial, to avoid further deprivations and injustices, warns the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

September 14, 2022

From left to right: Deputy Resident Representative Mr. Edward Vrkic and Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener briefing the media on the 2021/2022 Human Development Report

Lydia Kaia | UNDP Papua New Guinea

The newly launched 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) by UNDP, spotlights the continuous uncertainty that affects us in unprecedented ways, and argues that in the end, working towards shared goals and doubling down on human development are critical to creating a future in which we can all thrive, however uncertain.

UNDP Papua New Guinea Country Office held a media briefing on the launch of the 2021/22 HDR, “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” on 13 September 2022.

The report calculates the Human Development Index (HDI) for 191 countries and territories, including Papua New Guinea as well as other indices such as the Gender Inequality Index.

The HDI a composite index looking at a nation’s human development, considering health, education, and per capita income, i.e. measuring three key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living.

For the first time in the 32 years that UNDP have been calculating it, the Human Development Index has declined globally for two years in a row. Human development has fallen back to its 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Around 90% of countries saw their HDI decrease in either 2020 or 2021, and more than 40 percent declined in both years, signaling that the crisis is still deepening for many. While some countries are beginning to get back on their feet, recovery is uneven and partial, further widening inequalities in human development.

The last two years have had a devastating impact for billions of people around the world, when crises like COVID-19 interacted with sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes such as climate change, and increased polarization. “We are facing a high degree of uncertainty. We need to embrace transformation, invest in basic services, institutions, and innovation to navigate through multiple layers of complex challenges. Focusing on a transition to a green and sustainable economy is at the core of this.’’ said Dirk Wagener, Resident Representative, UNDP Papua New Guinea.

“This HDR report highlights the speed and level of changes and threats confronting humanity is beyond what we have ever experienced before, and how humanity must double down and navigate through this uncertainty.’’