Global report praises Viet Nam’s progress on human development

Jul 3, 2013

© United Nations Viet Nam\2010\Aidan Dockery

Viet Nam is among more than 40 developing countries identified to have done better than expected in human development terms in recent decades, says the 2013 Human Development Report (HDR) presented in Viet Nam today.

Striking human development gains

According to the global report of the UN Development Programme, Viet Nam’s human development progress has increased by 41 percent in the past two decades. In 2012, Viet Nam ranked 127th out of 187 countries – which is in the ‘medium’ category of human development.

Entitled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”, this year’s HDR analyses more than 40 developing countries that have made striking human development gains in recent years. The Report attributes their achievements to strong national commitments to better public health and education services, innovative poverty eradication programs and strategic engagement with the world economy.  By 2030, the Report projects, more than 80 percent of the world’s middle class will reside in the South. The Asia-Pacific region will be home to about two-thirds of the new global middle class, with billions of people becoming increasingly educated, socially engaged and internationally connected, though at significantly lower income levels than their counterparts in the middle class of the industrialized North.

Challenges ahead

The 2013 Human Development Report warns, however, that short-sighted austerity policies, persistent inequalities and unresponsive political systems could threaten global and national progress unless corrected.

“Economic growth alone does not automatically translate into human development progress,” the Report says. “Pro-poor policies and significant investments in people’s capabilities - through a focus on education, nutrition and health, and employment skills - can expand access to decent work and provide for sustained progress.”

Speaking at the report launch in Viet Nam, UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta highlighted the need to invest in people. “Without investing in people, returns from global markets - or foreign direct investment - will remain limited, she said. “Investing in human potential is vital for Viet Nam to enhance its competitiveness and to fully benefit from global economic integration.” Mehta mentioned regional and geographic disparities as obstacles for Viet Nam progressing to higher levels of human development. She noted the four key areas suggested by the Report to ensure continued progress in human development, including enhancing equity; enabling greater participation of citizens; confronting environmental pressures; and managing demographic change.

More information?

ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2013 Human Development Report in ten languages, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit:

 You can also read the press release or download the presentation of the Global Human Development Report and the presentation of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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