2019 Human Development Report released

12 December 2019

The global launch of the 2019 Human Development Report (HDR) took place on Monday, 9 December, in Bogota, Colombia.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner joined Colombian President Iván Duque to present the report, entitled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century.”

The Administrator said that this HDR heralded the start of a new generation of reports.

“This year’s report is the first of a new generation of HDRs for UNDP, pushing the boundaries as part of #NextGenUNDP to accelerate thought leadership, drive conversation on the future of development, and in so doing, advance progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

President Duque expressed Colombia’s pride in hosting the global launch of the HDR, calling it an “emblematic document of policies for equity that we welcome.”

HDRO Director Pedro Conceicao presented the key findings of the report, observing that each country must decide within its own context how best to respond to the emerging new inequalities, while continuing to narrow gaps on basic inequalities.

Elsewhere around the world, the report’s release garnered the attention of heads of state and government, members of academia and civil society organizations, the media, and the public at large.

Speaking at the report’s launch in Peru, President Martin Vizcarra stated: “We cannot speak of growth without social equity.”

In Liberia, Vice-President Jewel Taylor declared that the government would use the report to better align our national budget towards achieving SDGs.

“This report reminds all of us of the necessity to double our efforts in ensuring that no-one is left behind,” she said.

More than 130 Country and Regional Offices around the world held events or presentation ceremonies to mark the occasion. Below are a few highlights:

  • UNDP Maldives hosted the Minister of National Planning and Infrastructure, in collaboration with the Maldives National University. In Mauritius, the Country Office launched the report in the presence of the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity.
  • Denise Antonio, Resident Representative of UNDP Jamaica, presented the HDR to the Prime Minister of the Bahamas. The event’s moderator, Tijani Christian of the Commonwealth Youth Council, hailed the report as “a critical tool for advocacy.”
  • UNDP and the Resident Coordinator in Iran held a briefing for key donors. The Country Office complemented the main HDR messages with a look at regional socioeconomic trends and the UN approach to a resilient economy, as well as initiatives to address current challenges, including growing inequality. The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session with donors.
  • UNDP Nepal marked the launch with eight events in eight different provinces, drawing an attendance of over 1,000 people. More than 20 partners from academia and from federal and provincial governments participated. Speakers included ambassadors and donor representatives.
  • In Belarus, the Country Office convened representatives of government, the National Statistical Office and the media. UNDP Resident Representative Alexandra Solovieva welcomed the chance “to look at how we can together apply best practices and innovations to fight inequalities and emerging challenges in the country and beyond.”
  • And in Libya, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Yacoub El Hillo declared, at the launch in Tripoli: “There is no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. The two are interlinked.”


The 2019 Human Development Report is available here. Check out our gallery of photos from HDR launch events  in Colombia and around the world.