COLOMBO – A copy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report 2020 was presented to Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena by the UN body’s Resident Coordinator Robert Jukham, on Tuesday (5)
Gunawardena, accepting the report appreciated the UNDP’s cooperation with Sri Lanka, specifically its response to COVID-19 early interventions. He noted that free education and health policies of Sri Lanka, among other things, have significantly contributed to the country’s achievements in human development, and underscored the commitment of the government towards achieving Sustainable Development as stated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his inaugural speech.
The minister also discussed discuss a wide range of issues affecting the people, for instance micro financing schemes and related vulnerabilities, improvement in digital infrastructure and human-elephant conflict. Special emphasis was paid to areas where the UNDP can work in collaboration with Sri Lanka in addressing the issues including those related to the SDGs.
UNDP Resident Coordinator Jukham complimented Sri Lanka on the progress the country has made over the 30 years since the first Report was published, while appreciating the country’s initiatives towards addressing the effects of climate change and commitment towards environment protection. He provided a briefing on the UNDP’s ongoing assistance to Sri Lanka in various sectors working with a number of government agencies and reaffirmed the UNDP’s continued cooperation with Sri Lanka. Reference was also made to a pending “virtual mission” to Sri Lanka by the UNDP Regional Director for Asia and Pacific.
The Human Development Report (HDR) and its Human Development Index (HDI), which rank all countries in the world by their level of human development, remains a powerful voice in the development space. Sri Lanka has made steady progress and significant achievements in term of Human Development. The country is positioned at 72 in the global HDI ranking.