Bahrain today held the launch ceremony of Human Development Report
(HDR) 2010 under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. The timing of
the launch in Bahrain coincided with the official launch ceremony of
the Human Development Report for 2010 by the UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-Moon in New York along with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. The 2010 HDR reaffirms the concept
of human development, with a renewed emphasis on the dimensions of
empowerment, equity and sustainability.
At the launch event, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident
Representative, Sayed Aqa, said that Bahrain has made significant
progress in all aspects of human development and despite the global
financial crisis, it has continued with its projected development.
“Bahrain is doing well in all areas and this report has placed the
country in the very high human development category.” The overall
HDI improvement rank of Bahrain from 1980-2010 is 25 in the top, or
very high, human development bracket. Mr. Aqa mentioned that there
were certain areas of improvement and challenges Bahrain faces which
mainly included dealing with gender inequality and water scarcity
UN officials and national and international experts at the launch of
the HDR Report agreed that they faced a tough task of availability
of data. “Our resources are limited but we are trying our level best
to achieve sustainable development,” said Foreign Ministry
Under-Secretary Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla. “We are the only country
to develop our national income and trying to demonstrate and portray
genuine progress,” he added.
This year’s launch corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the
Human Development Report and is an opportunity to review human
development achievements and challenges systematically for the past
20 years since the report was published at both global and national
levels and to analyze their implications for policy and future
scenarios. The HDR 2010 undertakes a thorough analysis of HDI trends
since 1970. Over the past four decades, the Arab States have posted
major achievements in all three HDI dimensions, with several
countries experiencing particularly impressive progress. Life
expectancy has increased more in the Arab States than any other
region and there have also been positive gains in education, with
the overall gross school enrolment rate at 64 percent, up from 34
percent in 1970.
The 2010 report looks back rigorously at the several decades and
identifies trends and patterns with important lessons for future. A
session was devoted to analyze Bahrain-specific information within
the Report and achievements presented by UNDP Policy Advisor, Dr.
Abelhameed Nawar during the launch ceremony.
After presenting the 2010 HDR, a Question and Answer session was
held with the participation of members of the media, academia as
well as government and non-government officials.