“Iran should be commended for its progress in human development”: United Nations

Apr 30, 2013

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)
 dr. ali akbar salehi, foreign minister and mr.gary lewis, un resident coordinator/undp resident representative in iran jointly launch the 2013 human development report .

TEHRAN-- United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. 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 said: “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.”

 from left to right: ambassador baeedinejad, director general for international political affairs, ministry of foreign affairs dr. aliakbar salehi, foreign minister of the islamic republic of iran mr.gary lewis, un resident coordinator and undp resident representative in iran dr.balasubramaniam murali, undp deputy resident representative

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 as well as a Gender Inequality Index (GII) for 148 countries, and a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 104 countries.

According to the report, Iran’s latest Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.742, placing the country in the second highest category of the UN. The report also ranks the Islamic Republic 76th out of 187 countries. The HDI is a measure for assessing long-term progress by evaluating access to a healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. 

The UN and Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly launched the report at an event in Tehran on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. 


 Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi said in his statement that Iran has been considerably successful in achieving the MDGs

“Iran’s performance as reflected in the report reflects the country’s continuous efforts to achieve success in development.” Said Iran’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi in his speech during the event, expressing hope that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has been able to gain considerable success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At the end of the event Mr. Gary Lewis presented a plaque to Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi in recognition for partnership with the United Nations to promote human development.

 mr.gary lewis presented a plaque to dr.ali akbar salehi in recognition for partnership with the united nation to promote human development.

Mr. Lewis told journalists that Iran achieved the second highest reduction in HDI shortfall among the developing countries during the 22-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.

 un head of agencies, members of diplomatic corps, and representatives of media were among the participants in the launch event of the 2013 human development report

“Our world – and our region – currently face many human development and humanitarian challenges,” Mr. Lewis 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.

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.

 “For the first time in recent history, the South – as a whole – has become a driver of global economic and societal change,” states Mr. Lewis, adding that Iran’s human development progress over the course of the past 32 years should be praised. 

Based on UN calculations, Iran’s HDI value increased 67 per cent between the years 1980 and 2012. On an average annual basis, this increase is 1.6 per cent. 

“This means that Iran’s annual growth in its HDI was over double the global average. From a human development standpoint the report sends out a clear signal [that] for the period 1980-2012, Iran’s policy interventions and actions have produced significant improvements in its human development index,” added Mr. Lewis.

 Islamic republic of iran's broadcasting (IRIB) interviews the foreign minister dr.ali akbar salehi and un resident coordinator , mr. gary lewis .

Highlights of the Report relating to Iran


  • Between the years 1980 and 2012, Iran’s HDI value increased by 67 per cent – or at an average annual increase of about 1.6 per cent. During the same period, for other countries in the High Human Development group (the group containing Iran), the average annual gain was only about half of what Iran managed – 0.73 per cent.  For all countries on the planet, the average gain was even less – only 0.69 per cent.
  • Iran achieved the second highest reduction in HDI shortfall – among developing countries – during the 22 year period between 1990 and 2012, after the Republic of Korea. 
  • In Iran, for every 100,000 live births, only 21 women die from pregnancy-related causes.   The group average for other “high HDI” countries is 47.
  • In Iran, the adolescent fertility rate is 25 births per 1000 live births.  The group average is 50.

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