2013 Human Development Report launched in Juba
20 June 2013 – Juba: UNDP South Sudan hosted today the national launch of the Human Development Report 2013, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World at the UNDP Conference hall. Honourable Mary Jervase Yak, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and Toby Lanzer, the DSRSG/RC/HC/UNDP RR officiated the function. The launch was also graced by the presence of Honourable Aggrey Tisa, Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs, Honourable Simon Mijak Mijok, Deputy Minister of Roads and Bridges, Dr. Billy Berto Madison, Associate Professor of Economics, Juba University, as well as senior government officials, representatives of UN agencies, civil society and the media.
Globally, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto launched the report in March this year in Mexico City.
The summary of the report was presented by Mr. Balázs Horváth, the Country Director, UNDP South Sudan and Mr. Evarist Twimukye, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Mr. Andrey Ivanov presented the UNDP supported plan and concept for a possible first Human Development Report for South Sudan that is now under discussion.
The main message in the report is that recently there has been a global rebalancing with the South mainly made up of emerging and developing countries catching up and in some cases possibly soon surpassing the developed countries of the North on many socio-economic indicators. This “Rise of the South” has seen not only a sharp rise in Human Development Index (HDI) in many countries in the South, but this rise has put these countries on a path of eliminating the gap with those in the North.
The 2013 Human Development Report also considers the evolving geopolitics of this rebalancing, examining emerging issues and trends and also the new actors that are shaping the development landscape. To support this momentum for sustainable development, the report identifies four specific areas of focus: enhancing equity, including in the gender dimension; enabling greater voice and participation of citizens, including youth; addressing environmental pressures; and managing demographic change. The report argues that there is evidence to show that Least Developed Countries and especially fragile ones can also develop if they analyse and act on the lessons from successful emerging ones and manage to avoid the mistakes of those that have not fared as well.
In discussing the report, Dr. Billy Madison argued that since South Sudan experienced a long and brutal history of economic exploitation and political oppression at the hands of successive colonial and post-colonial administrations, it is important that now as an independent country, it should put in place the “essential pillars of human development” like education and health to ensure that the citizens receive the dividends of independence.
The UNWOMEN Deputy Country Representative, Firas F. Gharaibeh, highlighted that South Sudan is lagging behind in terms of access to education and to health services, citing lack of infrastructure, qualified teachers and safe environment as main obstacles to education of boys and girls. He explained that in order to progress in human development, government and development partners should put in place and implement policies and plans to fast track education for all, especially for young women and girls, and to create employment opportunities for the educated.
The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Barnabas Yisa, said that his organization is supporting South Sudan to attain faster rates of economic growth and human development in order to benefit from the demographic dividend. As other speakers, he argued that for South Sudan to “move forward and bring about positive demographic change, there is need to invest in education and health services.”
Giving the UNDP South Sudan perspective, Ms Catherine Waliaula, IGAD Project Manager, on Democracy and Participation in South Sudan, highlighted UNDP’s support in enhancing the capacity of state and non-state actors to bolster development for the people of South Sudan. She noted that the support covers areas of oversight and accountability institutions; democracy and participation; access to justice; planning and public financial management which are important in enhancing governance for sustainable development. She cited the success of the UNDP-supported capacity building initiative through the IGAD as an example of South-South collaboration that need to be encouraged and enhanced.
In her statement, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Honourable Mary Jervase Yak, underscored the importance of the report, especially for fragile states like South Sudan. She reiterated that the findings of the report resonate with the current situation in South Sudan, which as a new member of the international community is looking up to its peers in the South and friends in the North to deliver the type of sustainable development that will take it in the footsteps of other successful members of the global community especially in the South. The Deputy Minister also welcomed the announcement by UNDP that it is exploring the modalities for supporting the process for South Sudan to produce its first National Human Development Report, and pledged the government’s full support.
In his closing remarks, His Excellency Aggrey Tisa explained that the key message from the 2013 Human Development Report is that the rise of the South is radically reshaping the world of the 21st century, with developing nations increasingly driving economic growth, lifting hundreds of millions of people from poverty, and propelling billions more into the new global middle class. He therefore called on all countries in the global South as well as in the North to join forces and support South Sudan and other fragile states to graduate out of their fragile status and to become members of the respected international community that are able to gain from, and productively contribute to, the global economy.
- The share of the Global South in world output and in world trade has grown rapidly in past decades and is set to eclipse that of the North in about a decade.
- Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania are among the countries that made the greatest strides in HDI improvement since 2000.
- By 2050, aggregate HDI could rise by 52 percent in sub-Saharan Africa (from 0.402 to 0.612).
- Over the past decade, nearly half of financing for infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa was provided by governments and regional funds from elsewhere in the South.
- From 2003 to 2008—the five years preceding the global financial crisis—income per capita in the region grew 5 percent a year, more than twice the rate of the 1990s.
- Though many countries in sub-Saharan Africa showed improvement in their Gender Inequality Index value between 2000 and 2012, they still perform worse than countries in other regions, mainly because of higher maternal mortality ratios, adolescent fertility rates and huge gaps in educational attainment.
- The spectacular increase in phone connectivity in Africa has been driven almost entirely by companies based in India, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
United Nations Development Programme, South Sudan
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