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05 november 2010, 10:19

 Today's Zaman

Friday, November 05, 2010

NOVRUZ MAMMADOV

‘Movement was better for it than rest’
- Aristotle, On the Soul


Starting in 1990, the Human Development Reports (HDR) of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have been published on an annual basis. The HDR are impartial reports which help to streamline discussions around challenges being faced by the international community ranging from climate change to human rights. Ratings of countries from the Human Development Index (HDI) are also published in the report. Spanning the period from 1990 until 2009, human development was defined by three categories differing for each country, being low, medium and high development. However, in 2009 a new category was added: “very high.”

In 2009, the report titled “Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development” positioned Azerbaijan at 86th position among 182 countries. Therefore, Azerbaijan made its way onto the list of medium developed countries on the basis of this performance. The 2009 report describes in-depth inland and outland migration flows. Usually, this phenomenon occurs in cases of conflict in the region when people strive to move one-sidedly to metropolitan countries and megapolises hoping for a better lifestyle or to get an education. In recent years, the mobility of the world population has increased on a global scale, and migration flows have become one of the serious factors impacting on the social situations of various states and regions.

The UN supported the development of Azerbaijan by creating a favorable environment to improve effective governance, reduce poverty, ensure human rights observance and gender equality and meet the major needs of its people in such fields as healthcare and education.

Azerbaijan advanced to the 67th place in the 2010 report titled “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development” and positioned itself among developed countries. The human development reports have tremendous influence on world development policies and in celebrating 20 years, the paper continues its traditional impact on enlarging the boundaries of human development thinking.

In the aftermath of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia (1989 to 1994), almost 1 million of my countrymen were expelled from territories occupied by Armenia. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions condemning the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and calling for the resolution of this conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Armenia has turned a blind eye to these resolutions. The policy of this country in the region and its territorial claims channeled against Turkey and Georgia had resulted in the move of brotherly Turkey to cut off all links and shut down the frontiers with this country.

The continuation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the main obstacle to economic development in the region. Armenia lured itself into the isolation trap by occupying the territory of its neighbor and almost grounded all its economic development.

Assistance extended by various countries and circles can be sufficient to demonstrate weak signs of life only.

On the contrary, having broadly assessed its opportunities, Azerbaijan perceives well the importance of the human factor by ensuring a decent life for its citizens. All investments made in Azerbaijan are aimed at providing prosperity for its people.
International organizations and the HDR still continue to treat Armenia as the belle of the ball by keeping it again at its previous place rating. The current situation and aggressive policy by Armenia undermines the development prospects of this country.

On Oct. 21, 2010, the World Bank board of directors held talks on a new Country Partnership Strategy with Azerbaijan for the years 2011-2014. The intention is to build this strategy on two main areas. The first encompasses efforts to boost the non-oil sector, mainly through improvements in the business environment and better infrastructure and agriculture. The second covers the effectiveness of social and public utilities including healthcare, education, social protection and water supply.

As a support to human development, in the years 2009-2010 President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed in almost 20 new decrees and orders resulting in the creation of over 56,000 jobs in 2010, improving the lifestyle of the people, reducing poverty, improving the labor market, developing the non-oil sector and undertaking other measures.

Nowadays, Azerbaijan has become a country of immigration. Migration flows toward Azerbaijan have strengthened from various countries, mainly Eastern nations. People keep coming here for a better life.

Various pathways leading to human development in the last 20 years demonstrate that there is no single commonly applied mechanism for sustainable progress, and the role played by economic performance is vital for long-term success. In order to ensure human development, there is a need for well-balanced policies, democratic statehood and strong governance. The advances of Azerbaijan shown in the reports in comparison to earlier years substantiate all of the above mentioned.

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