Leader of CIS countries

Belarus moves up fifteen positions in UN rankings for its high human development index
By Yury Chernyakevich

It’s perhaps nonsensical to compare life in the USA with, for example, that in tiny Luxembourg, or that of Russia with Denmark. We all know that the ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ but there are some standard criteria which can be used to assess living standards around the world.

Not long ago, the United Nations published its report entitled The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. It noted that, last year, every country, without exception, accelerated its pace of growth in the field of education and health care, as well as increasing its incomes. However, the greatest results were seen in the ‘States of the South’: China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of South Africa and Turkey. For the first time, the combined GDP of the three leading economies in the developing world — Brazil, India and China — nearly equalled that of those countries traditionally recognised as industrially developed in the ‘North’: Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the USA and France.

Belarus is ranked 50th (among 187 countries) for its human development index: the leading position in the CIS. Moreover, over the past year, the country has risen fifteen positions and is recognised as having high human development index. In comparison, Russia is rated 55th, Kazakhstan is 69th, Georgia is ranked 72nd, Ukraine is 78th and Armenia is placed 87th.

It’s a pretty significant jump for our country, although, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the rise was expected, confirming the wisdom of the state’s social and economic policies. The Head of the Economic Co-operation and Sustainable Development Office of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Yury Yaroshevich, recently noted at a press conference in Minsk, “This index is one of the most important in the world. It assesses living standards in a particular country, literacy and GDP per capita. We treat it as a measure of how successfully fundamental human rights are implemented in various countries.”

A great many reports exist, but the UN’s human development report is interesting in that its basic indicators give a clear picture of a nation’s development. The latest such report notes that Belarusians are now staying in education at least an extra two years on average.

Of course, our country is known for its focus in this direction, with domestic and foreign experts asserting that education is developing dynamically. The human development index is prestigious worldwide and, according to Mr. Yaroshevich, shows the opportunities and potential of the economy, guiding business representatives thinking of making investments.
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