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Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today “Human Development Report 2019” has been launched at TEPAV
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11/12/2019 - Viewed 307 times

 

 

ANKARA – Human Development Report 2019’s launching meeting was organized by TEPAV and the United Nations Development Program Turkey on Tuesday December 10th, 2019 at TEPAV Building. National and international non-governmental organizations, representatives of public institutions, representatives of foreign mission, faculty members and students attended the meeting.

The meeting started with TEPAV Managing Director Güven Sak’s welcoming remarks. Like the Report, Sak also focused on inequalities in his speech and evaluated Turkey’s standing in the Report. Although Sak’s interpretation of the results was positive, TEPAV Managing Director asserted that Turkey should not be satisfied with such results and called for a better Turkey and a better world. Furthermore, Sak also underlined that since Human Development Report was first published in 1990, Human Development Index has raised 20 percent on average all around the globe, and stated that we are now living on a materially wealthier world. Besides this fact, Sak shared his observation that humanity is becoming more pessimistic and unhappier and related this situation to inequalities. Focusing especially on gender inequality, Sak reminded that half of the entire population around the world is exposed to this particular inequality. Sak argued human development cannot be explained solely by economic metrics and that additional multidimensional studies should be conducted. Sak ended his words by referring to the motto of the Report so as to draw attention to the future: “Beyond income, beyond average, beyond today”.

The meeting continued with the opening remarks of UNDP Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi. Mentioning the social unrests caused by a variety of reasons taking place around the world presently, Tomasi asserted that all these are due to inequality and injustice ın the world. Reminding that until the publication of the first Human Development Report in 1990, human development was merely measured by looking at economic growth. After explaining the motto of the report, “Beyond income, beyond average, beyond today”; Tomasi stated that there has not been much improvement on most of the existing inequalities, and added that a new generation of inequalities are appearing in the global scene. When access to education and health services are considered, Tomasi cited that countries with comparatively lower development levels are improving their primary health and education services and therefore closing the gap with the developed countries. On the contrary, Tomasi also cited that the gap between different development level groups are expanding with regards to tertiary education. After explaining how inequalities might occur even before birth, accumulate and affect individual throughout a lifetime; Tomasi pointed out that inequalities might be resistant and structural but added that they are not inevitable and underlined to act swiftly. Tomasi reminded that although technological developments such as artificial intelligence and automation might have negative outcomes like unemployment, if they are implemented correctly, these might also be beneficial. Tomasi also added that countries with comparatively lower human development levels are affected and will continue to be affected more from the climate crisis. Following this, Tomasi went over the statistical data in the Report and compared Turkey’s development level to the rest of the world. Tomasi noted that according to the Human Development Index, Turkey has recorded 40 percent development in the past 30 years whereas the world has an average of 20 percent. Tomasi further emphasized that Turkey’s Human Development Index is announced as 0.806, however its Inequality Adjusted Human Development Index decreases it to 0.675, hence showing a decrease by 16.2 percent. Moreover, Tomasi underlined that Turkey is ranked 59th among 189 countries and that in 2018 Turkey is listed among ‘very high human development level’ countries for the first time. Tomasi pointed out that on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest inequality level, 5 being the highest) for gender inequality index, Turkey is one of the 5 countries in the ‘very high human development level’ group which is not among Groups 1 or 2. Finally, Tomasi remarked that this Report forms a basis and added that numerous other applications might be necessary depending on the country specific needs and would serve as a helpful tool for decision making processes.

After the welcoming remarks; the meeting continued with Bilkent University Economics Department Faculty Member, Professor Erinç Yaldan and TOBB-ETÜ Economics Department Faculty Member, Professor Nur Sena Caner’s presentations and the moderation of the President of INGEV Foundation, Vural Çakır. Caner identified that as a minimalist reflection of individuals’ needs for self-actualization; education, health and income are used as the primary metrics for this Report. Next, Caner mentioned five subtitles of the report. These subtitles are; poverty decreases despite development level gap expands, new generation inequalities arise, inequalities occur before birth and accumulate through the lifetime, metrics which are used to assess inequalities should be reviewed and lastly, to be able overcome inequalities we have to act now. In addition, Caner cited a research; which was conducted in 39 countries between 2000 and 2010. The study found out that unrelated from individuals’ political views; share of the population stating income should be distributed more equal increased. Pointing out the report’s significance by explaining how it is both based on statistical data and gathers different subjects, Yeldan described it as a “enough is enough scream”. In the same fashion, Yeldan called our age as “the age of anxiety” and reminded that economic growth rates are decreasing. Arguing that the characteristics of global growth is shifting from the ‘unemployed to unpaid’, Yeldan reported that labor force efficiency is decreasing. Yeldan stated that even among the human capital that inequality and injustice exists. Observing profit margins of countries from different development groups, Yeldan claimed developed countries’ profit margins are wider. Yeldan ended his speech by criticizing how the difference between labor productivity and labor costs are widening and how the climate, agricultural areas and human health is threatened due to fossil fuel consumption.

 

You may read Human Development Report 2019 from here.

Click here for UNDP Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi's presentation.

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