These are among the key findings of the 2020 Human Development Report “The next frontier – Human Development and the Anthropocene,” released on December 16 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Addressing the report launch, UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen praised Vietnam for embarking firmly on people-centered development and prioritising human development and equality in its socio-economic development strategies and plans.
“Vietnam’s High Human Development is a remarkable achievement and also creates opportunities for greater and more rapid progress in the coming development period. The country is at a critical juncture as it designs its next Socio-Economic Development Strategy, with decisions made today determining whether it will continue on it current path of growth and low inequality, and whether it can simultaneously shift to reducing pressure on the planet to enhance the harmony of the people and the environment,” said Wiesen. “I would like to reaffirm that UNDP stands ready to partner with Vietnam in this journey to redesign a path to progress that respects the intertwined fate of people and planet.”
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong praised the Human Development Index (HDI) report for introducing a new experimental index on human progress that takes into account countries’ carbon dioxide emissions and material footprint - planetary-pressures adjusted HDI (PHDI).
With the index, Vietnam, as one of the countries hardest hit by climate change, will have additional orientation foundation to issue and implement policies in response to environmental pollution and climate change, Phuong added.
According to the new report, the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis facing the world, but unless humans release their grip on nature, it won’t be the last. Therefore, the report introduces the PHDI.
It lays out a stark choice for world leaders - take bold steps to reduce the immense pressure that is being exerted on the environment and the natural world, or humanity’s progress will stall.
Vietnam’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.704, putting the country in the high human development category and positioning it at 117 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 - 2019, the country’s HDI value increased by almost 46 percent, which is among the highest HDI growth rates in the world.
Vietnam has also been performing well in terms of gender equality. With the Gender Development Index value of 0.997, it ranks 65th out of 162 countries and is the highest among five country groups.