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UN Resident Coordinator Gary Lewis: Iran should be commended for its progress in human development

Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi and UN Resident Coordinator Gary Lewis

TEHRAN-- United Nations Resident Coordinator, Gary Lewis said here on Tuesday 30 April that the Islamic Republic of Iran should be commended for its progress in human development when measured over the past three decades.

Addressing a joint press conference with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, on the occasion of launching of UNDP 2013 Human Development Report (HDR), he added what the Report implies is that from a human development standpoint – during the period 1980-2012 – Iran policy interventions were both significant and appropriate to produce overall improvements in the human development index.

Produced by UNDP, the 2013 HDR presents Human Development Index (HDI) values and ranks for 187 countries and UN-recognized territories, along with the Inequality-adjusted HDI for 132 countries, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for 148 countries, and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 104 countries.


From left to right: Ambassador Hamid Baiedinejad, FM Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, UN Resident
Coordinator Gary Lewis and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative B. Murali.

He told journalists that Iran achieved the second highest reduction in HDI shortfall among the developing countries during the twenty-two year period between 1990 and 2012 and only one country was able to do better: the Republic of Korea.

UNDP reports that between 1980 and 2012, Iran recorded some notable achievements: life expectancy at birth increased by 22.1 years; the mean years of schooling and the expected years of schooling each increased by about 5.7 years; while Iran’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in purchasing power parity terms increased by about 48 percent during the same period.


2013 HDR was launched jointly by UNDP Tehran and Ministry of Foreign Affairs at ICIC

“Our world – and our region – currently face many human development and humanitarian challenges,” he said adding that these challenges need a response where the best knowledge is made available – where the best practices are used – and where countries cooperate across borders.


Foreign diplomats attending the Launching Ceremony of HDR 2013 at ICIC in Tehran

Lewis emphasized that the UN in Iran can play a greater role to bring together the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries in order to collectively solve these problems which affect our region and our world.

The UN’s development work in Iran concentrates on: poverty reduction; health; Environmentally Sustainable Management; disaster risk reduction and management and drug prevention and control.


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UN Resident Coordinator Gary Lewis

Gary Lewis: “Iran’s HDI value – for the year 2012 – is 0.742. This puts the country in the “high human development” category”.


Iranian journalists interviewing
UN Resident Coordinator Gary Lewis

Iran’s annual growth in its HDI was over double the global average. This would seem to imply that – from a human development standpoint – during the period 1980-2012, Iran’s policy interventions were both significant and appropriate to produce improvements in human development,” Gary Lewis.

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