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UAE tops Arab countries in UNDP's 2010 report

Geneva: The UAE has ranked as the first Arab country – and 32nd globally - in the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Report 2010, moving up 5 places from its ranking in 2005.

The report which was launched by the United Nations across the world ranked Qatar 38th placing it in the second slot among Arab countries. In third place among Arab countries came Bahrain (39) followed by Kuwait (47), Libya 53), Saudi Arabia (55), Algeria (84), Egypt (101), Syria (111), Morocco (114th), Yemen (133) and Sudan (154).

UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It is active in 166 countries, working for solutions to global and national development challenges. Progress towards the achievement, by 2015, of the Millennium Development Goals is an integral part of UNDP's works.

This year's Report celebrates the contributions of the human development approach, which is as relevant as ever to making sense of our changing world and finding ways to improve people's well-being.

"The past 20 years have seen substantial progress in many aspects of human development. Most people today are healthier, live longer, are more educated and have more access to goods and services. Even in countries facing adverse economic conditions, people's health and education have greatly improved. And there has been progress not only in improving health and education and raising income, but also in expanding people's power to select leaders, influence public decisions and share knowledge," according to a UNDP's summary of the report.

The first Human Development Report in 1990 opened with the simply stated premise that has guided all subsequent Reports: "People are the real wealth of a nation." By backing up this assertion with an abundance of empirical data and a new way of thinking about and measuring development, the Human Development Report has had a profound impact on development policies around the world.

This 20th anniversary edition features introductory reflections by the Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen, who worked with series founder Mahbub Al Haq on the conception of the first Human Development Report and contributed to and inspired many successive volumes.

The 2010 Report continues the tradition of pushing the frontiers of development thinking. For the first time since 1990, the Report looks back rigorously at the past several decades and identifies often surprising trends and patterns with important lessons for the future. These varied pathways to human development show that there is no single formula for sustainable progress and that impressive long-term gains can and have been achieved even without consistent economic growth.