The United Arab Emirates has ranked first regionally and 32nd globally in the Human Development Report 2010. It was also rated as one of only two countries from the region in the most advanced category or the category of "very high human development". United Nations Development Programme announced the new rankings during a special ceremony held today in Abu Dhabi to launch the 20th anniversary edition of the report.
The ceremony included a review of the main findings of the report for the year 2010, and an illustration of the long-term progress in the UAE, in particular and the region in general, as documented in the 20th anniversary edition of the report.
On this occasion, Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Director-General of the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid said: "We are pleased to see the UAE is now the highest ranking Arab country and has moved up to 32nd globally in the UN Development Programme's Human Development Index for 2010. Since its foundation in 1971, the UAE has always prioritized the development of its people, thanks largely to the enlightened vision of Sheikh Zayed, who believed development is about releasing human potential. The fact that the UAE was rated in the category "very high human development" reflects once again the country's continuous efforts to develop and raise the quality of life of its people."
Dr. Elissar Sarrouh, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the UAE said "It is only fitting to launch the 20th anniversary edition of the Human Development Report here in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which leads the region in human development terms and is working to build further on its impressive achievements in health care, educational opportunities and overall quality of life.". "We at UNDP look forward to working to assist the UAE in its visionary pursuit of continued human development progress," Dr. Sarrouh added.
Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the Undersecretary, of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi in a speech during the ceremony, expressed in turn, his delight on the results of the Human Development Report 2010 for the UAE which occupied the first place at the level of the Arab World, and the 32nd place worldwide, amongst 169 countries covered by the Report, as UAE climbed up five ranks from its position in 2009. He also expressed that "such remarkable progress has been achieved, thanks to God Almighty and the guidance of the wise leadership, headed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and his brothers their Highnesses the Sheikhs, Rulers of the Emirates, in the various fields of life, placing the UAE within the category of countries with high human development; based on the principles of sustainability and empowerment of community members, which constitute some of the mainstays and values of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, and the other strategies adopted in different emirates. "
For the first time, the 2010 Report measures human development in terms of the distribution of achievements and opportunities within societies, with an inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (HDI) assessing relative progress among national groups in health, education and income. The Arab countries together suffer a large HDI decline of 27% because of substantial inequality in all the said three areas.
In addition to the new HDI, which includes some technical refinements of its traditional indicators for income, health and education, the 2010 Human Development Report introduces three new indices to measure the extent and impact of inequality, gender gaps, and extreme poverty.
The UAE ranked first regionally and 45th globally among 138 countries covered by the Gender Inequality Index, which measure gender gaps in reproductive health, empowerment and participation in the labor force. This performance is attributable to gender equality in education, with 77% of adult women in the UAE attaining secondary or higher level of education, the same as for men.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which identifies serious simultaneous deprivations in health, education and living standards, shows that the Arab region is home for an estimated 39 million poor people.