2014 Human Development Report Launched in Guyana
Posted in: Regional News | 03 September 2014 | 2302
“Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” is the title of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2014 Human Development Report.
As such, UNDP Guyana launched the report on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at the Guyana International Conference Centre in the presence of Representatives of the Government, Parliamentary Political Parties, Diplomatic Corps, United Nations Agencies, Civil Society and Media. The report was presented to Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh by UNDP Resident Representative (ag), Ms. Chisa Mikami.
According to the report, Guyana’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.638 - which is in the medium human development category—positioning the country at 121 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2013, Guyana’s HDI value increased from 0.516 to 0.638, an increase of 23.6 percent or an average annual increase of about 0.65 percent.
Opening remarks were delivered by UNDP Resident Representative (ag) Ms. Chisa Mikami. In her remarks, Ms. Mikami emphasized that “human development involves removing the barriers that hold people back in their freedom to act. It is about enabling the disadvantaged and excluded to realize their rights, to express their concerns openly, to be heard and to become active agents in shaping their destiny. It is about having the freedom to live a life that one values and to manage one’s affairs adequately.”
She further noted that the 2014 Human Development Report looks at two concepts which are both interconnected and immensely important to securing human development progress. These concepts are: Reducing vulnerabilities, and Building resilience.
She explained that “as successive Human Development Reports (HDRs) have shown, most people in most countries have been doing steadily better in human development. Advances in technology, education and incomes hold ever-greater promise for longer, healthier, more secure lives.”
Ms. Mikami also noted that the Report makes the case that the sustained enhancement of individuals’ and societies’ capabilities is necessary to reduce persistent vulnerabilities -many of them structural and many of them tied to the life cycle. Hence, progress has to be about fostering resilient human development.
A technical presentation was done by the UNDP Programme Specialist, Dr. Patrick Chesney. In his very analytical presentation, Dr. Chesney examined the trend of Guyana’s performance over the years.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh addressed the audience before he officially launched the report in Guyana. He noted that, “There is a steady trend in the right direction in all the indices presented in the report.” He pointed specifically to life expectancy, expected years of schools and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.
The Minister further examined the figures in detail and compared Guyana to other Caribbean countries. Dr. Singh echoed that while Guyana has shown rapid improvement from the 1990s to present, it still has a long way to go.
He concluded on the premise that Guyana has been performing in all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) except for five. As such he explained that a MDG Acceleration Framework in relation to MDG five (5) which focuses on maternal health was developed. The Minister also made a call on the global community to double its efforts to discharge the obligation they entered in to achieve the MDG eight (8).
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