UNDP cites Aquino’s ‘inclusiveness’ tack

PRESIDENT Aquino was lauded in absentia Monday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), as it cited him for his “special contribution” to human development.

During the launch of its 2015 Human Development Report on the Philippines at a Makati City hotel Monday, the UNDP noted how the President had highlighted “inclusiveness” in tackling various human development challenges facing the country.


In a statement, it said Mr. Aquino provided examples of how inclusiveness served to guide “policymaking in areas such as youth unemployment, informal work for women, and universal access to education and health.”

“We are centered on our people. They are the end-all and be-all of everything we do,” the UNDP quoted Mr. Aquino as saying. “Thus, we will exert every effort to empower them, give them the same rights and protections and maximize their opportunities—regardless of social status, welfare and the nature of work.”


Human Development Index

The President was originally scheduled to address the UNDP event. However, Malacañang sent word last Friday that he would be unable to do so.

In its report, the attached agency of the UN revealed that in Asia and the Pacific, Human Development Index (HDI) values had been rising “due to years of sustained economic growth and fast technological progress.”

The Philippines’ 2014 HDI of 0.668, it said, “was above the 0.630 average for countries in the medium development group, following Indonesia but ahead of Vietnam.”

“The region has achieved impressive economic growth,” the UNDP said. “Since 1990, gross national income per capita in the region averaged an annual growth of 7.2 percent, compared to the world average of 1.9 percent.”

Opportunities, challenges

In its report, the UNDP detailed how the nature of work had changed due to “exponential technological growth, deepening globalization, aging societies and environmental challenges.”


This presented “opportunities for some, but profound challenges for other countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” it added.

The agency also urged governments to “act now to prevent widening inequalities.”

Youth unemployment

The same report revealed that youth unemployment in East Asia and the Pacific “ranges between 0.5 percent in Cambodia to 54 percent in Kiribati, with Indonesia being at 3.1 percent and the Philippines at 15.7 percent.”

It also urged countries in the region to “promote decent work opportunities and sustainability by improving education and social protection, particularly for vulnerable groups, and by engaging in collective action and productive legislation to eradicate work that exploits and demeans.”

Forced laborers

The Asia-Pacific region, it explained had the largest number of people “trapped in dangerous and demeaning work, including forced labor, trafficking and child labor.”

The region “accounts for the largest number of forced laborers in the world—11.7 million, which is 56 percent of the global total.”

By promoting health and education among the people, especially children, “incentives to acquire skills to move to a wider range of occupations can be created,” it said.

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