The United Nations is launching its 2004 Arab Human Development Report
(AHDR) on Tuesday providing a new perspective on the range of social,
political and constitutional flaws impeding good governance and
freedoms in the Arab world.
The latest AHDR publication, "Towards Freedom in the Arab World," presents societies in the region with strategic vision for promoting good governance as a means of helping them define their own course towards achieving an Arab renaissance.
The AHDR, an annual UN production since 2002, builds on some of the key issues raised in preceding reports and identifies new barriers hindering development in the region.
Its in-depth and sometimes critical examination of the realities in Arab world in areas of human development, knowledge, political leadership and human rights freedoms, have served as a valuable resources for academics around the world.
The first AHDR 2002 "Opportunities for Future Generations," took stock of progress made by Arab countries over the past three decades towards improved levels of human development.
While its authors commended the substantial strides made in areas such as health and social welfare, the report highlighted serious drawbacks in the fields of governance, women's empowerment and access to knowledge.
The following publication in 2003 pushed the line further by underlining the importance of investments in these three areas, particularly in improved access to knowledge, as a key factor in development.
The AHDR 2003 entitled, "Building a Knowledge Society" indicated that human capital could offer a substantial base for an Arab knowledge renaissance given a more open environment for access to information.
The report further affirmed that knowledge could expand the scope of human freedoms, enhance the capacity to guarantee those freedoms through good governance and achieve the higher moral human goals of justice and human dignity.
This year's AHDR 2004 will be launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs and Government Performance Marwan Muasher, and UN Secretary General and UNDP Regional Bureau Director for Arab States Rima Khalaf.
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