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Human Development Report 2010

The Real Wealth of Nations – Pathways to Human Development, 20th Anniversary Edition

image of Human Development Report 2010
The Human Development Report has had a profound impact on development policies around the world. The 2010 Report continues the tradition of pushing the frontiers of development thinking. For the first time since 1990, the Report looks back rigorously at the past several decades and identifies often surprising trends and patterns with important lessons for the future. These varied pathways to human development show that there is no single formula for sustainable progress—and that impressive long-term gains can and have been achieved even without consistent economic growth. Looking beyond 2010, this Report surveys critical aspects of human development, from political freedoms and empowerment to sustainability and human security, and outlines a broader agenda for research and policies to respond to these challenges.

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Reaffirming human development

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Human Development Report (HDR) in 1990. It is worth recalling the broader context. The Berlin Wall was crumbling, and the Soviet Union would soon dissolve. The apartheid regime in South Africa had just released Nelson Mandela from prison. Iraq was about to invade Kuwait. Augusto Pinochet had left power in Chile, replaced by a new democratic regime. The Sandinistas were voted out of office in Nicaragua. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party won Myanmar’s national elections. Students were demonstrating for political reform in Beijing. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges opened. Margaret Thatcher had ruled the United Kingdom for more than a decade. The term “Washington Consensus” had just been coined.

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