Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/102
    7 September 2005

    UNIS Vienna and Austrian Development Cooperation Launch UNDP Human Development Report 2005 in Vienna

    Focus on International Cooperation at a Crossroads: Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World

    VIENNA, 7 September (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, together with the Austrian Development Cooperation, launched the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report 2005, at a press briefing in Vienna, Austria, today. The Report was launched by Ambassador Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Director General of Development Cooperation in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Gina Volynsky, Trade and Economic Development Policy Advisor, UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava.

    According to the Report, the year 2005 marks a crossroads. The world's governments face a choice. One option is to seize the moment and make 2005 the start of a "decade for development". If the investments and the policies needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are put in place today, there is still time to deliver the promises of the Millennium Declaration. But time is running out. The 2005 World Summit provides a critical opportunity to adopt the bold action plans needed, not just to get back on track for the 2015 goals, but to overcome the deep inequalities that divide humanity and to forge a new, more just pattern of globalization. In this context, the Human Development Report 2005  focuses its analysis on three critical issues that call for new cooperation measures: aid, trade and security.

    "Next week's meeting in New York to assess progress towards the attainment of the MDGs will be a test of political will," stated Ambassador Freudenschuss-Reichl. "As a member of the European Union (EU) , Austria fully supports the forward-looking position the EU has taken to facilitate progress on many issues under discussion, in particular the quantity and quality of aid," said Ambassador Freudenschuss-Reichl, adding that the Human Development Report was a tool for prioritizing policy.

    "This year's Human Development Report focuses on what the wealthier nations can do to ensure that globalization brings opportunities for improved social, physical and economic well-being, even to the most disadvantaged," stated  Ms. Volynsky. "Unfortunately, many countries are not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals, such as halving poverty by 2015. Despite this, these goals are eminently attainable, and substantial improvements within short periods of time are possible.  For example, the new EU Member States saw their Human Development Indexes rise dramatically, thanks to successful reforms, sustained effort and commitment, both in these countries, and in the rest of the EU."

    UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Europe and the CIS, Kalman Mizsei, who was attending a conference in Vienna, stated that "the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are development success stories. They are in UNDP's High Human Development category, as well as in the EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Ensuring the successful transfer of the lessons of transition is one of the most important development challenges facing new EU member states. UNDP is working closely with their governments, non-governmental organizations, and private sector partners to facilitate this transfer".

    Highlighting aid, trade and security as three critical ingredients for achieving success, the Human Development Report 2005 provides a basis for considering the scale of the challenge facing the world's leaders when they come together for the 2005 World Summit in New York.

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    For further information:

    Gina Volynsky, Trade and Economic Development Policy Advisor
    UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava
    Tel : +42-12-59 337 417
    E-mail: gina.volynsky@undp.org

    Mag. Christine Jantscher, Chief, Public Information,
    Austrian Development Cooperation
    Tel.: +43-1-903 99 400
    E-mail: Christine.Jantscher@ada.gv.at

    For more information on the Report, visit: www.undp.org