Over the past ten years Azerbaijan has been a leading country among former Soviet republics for the average annual human development index. Azerbaijan has even managed to leave behind the two states that are considered best in the world – China and India. This has been stated by Resident-Representative of UNDP Fikret Akcura at a ceremony in Baku to launch the Human Development Report 2010 of the United Nations Development Program.
The presentation, organized jointly by the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Program under the motto "The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development", was attended by representatives of the government, international organizations, diplomatic missions and civil society groups. The event was opened with the demonstration of a documentary film, "Azerbaijan: pathway to development", marking 20 years of the UNDP Human Development Report.
In opening remarks, the Chief-of-Staff of the Azerbaijan Presidential Administration, Academician Ramiz Mehdiyev, provided a broad analysis of the work carried out in Azerbaijan in the field of human development. Academician Mehdiyev noted that the data on Azerbaijan contained in the latest UN report were an indicator of overall development. Over the past five years, Azerbaijan has achieved the most rapid development among the 169 countries covered by the human development report: Azerbaijan has climbed from 101st position in 2005 to 67th in 2010. Azerbaijan’s human development index reached 1.77 in the time period from 2000 to 2010, becoming the highest among post-Soviet countries. As a result, Azerbaijan has left behind the group of "average human development” countries and joined those of "high human development".
Resident-Representative of UNDP Fikret Akcura said in his remarks that the young Azerbaijani state was among the most successful countries in terms of human development alongside the "miracles of economic development” such as China and Korea. If we recall the early years of Azerbaijan's independence, its current achievements are worthy of special commendation. In the past decade, Azerbaijan has achieved sustainable economic development, significantly reduced the level of poverty and made great progress in the area of human development.
Addressing the meeting, Korean Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Chi-Han and the chairperson of the Organization for the integration of Azerbaijani youth into Europe, Gulsel Safarova, spoke about Azerbaijan’s successes in the area of human development.