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Opportunities for Pacific Islands from South-South Exchange

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2013 Global Human Development Report Offers Opportunities For Pacific Islands To Gain From The South-South Exchange

18 March 2013

[Nadi, Fiji – March 18] The Pacific region can take appropriate actions to advance human development, as outlined in the 2013 Human Development Report—The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World.

The Report was launched in the Pacific, by Nicholas Rosellini, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director for Asia and the Pacific at the Pacific Symposium on Managing Extractive Industries in Pacific Island States to Improve Human Development. The report was released globally last Friday by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at Mexico’s Presidential Palace.

The report draws its title from an analysis of the human development index (HDI) performance for 40 developing or countries of the South. This analysis reveals that in these countries there have been significantly greater HDI gains since 1990 than would have been predicted based on their performance prior to 1990.

In presenting the key conclusions from the report, Nicholas Rosellini said the report highlights that investments in people’s capabilities—especially health, education, and nutrition—and in building resilience to economic, environmental, and other threats and shocks is key to advance human development.

“The Report argues that promoting greater equity is not only an important goal in its own right and central to lifting human development. It is vital for stability and sustainability. Inequality slows development and we know that Governments which do not respond to citizens’ needs and ensure opportunities for inclusive growth and political participation, risk losing their legitimacy. This is an important theme for our Extractive Industries Symposium,” said Mr Rosellini.

“While not all Pacific Island countries are covered in the human development index (nine of the fifteen), the story for those where data is available suggests little movement since 2011 and in most cases there remains more to be done to regain the places achieved in 2007.”

Mr Rosellini said that through South-South Cooperation there were real opportunities for the Pacific as a region to create linkages between development initiatives in different countries, both within the Pacific and further afar.

Pacific Human Development Data Highlights

• One Pacific Island country, Palau is in the high human development group.
• Six Pacific Island countries – Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu - are in the medium human development group.
• Two Pacific Island Countries - Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are in the low human development group.
• The Asia –Pacific region has one of the highest employment-to-population ratios (74.5 percent), above the world average of 65.8 percent. The employment-to-population ratio range for Fiji is 62.7 percent.


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