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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     3 November  2011

Human Development Index released

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) on Wednesday. The index again places Indonesia at 124th out of 187 countries surveyed.

In addition, Indonesia again ranks lower than five of its Aseancounterparts, with Singapore leading in 26th place, followed by Brunei (33rd), Malaysia (61st), Thailand (103rd) and the Philippines (112nd).

Indonesia's 2011 HDI placing, which scores 0.617, is still higher than that of Vietnam (128th), Laos (138th), Cambodia (139th) and Myanmar (149th).

The 2011 list again puts Norway top of the index, with an HDI of 0.943, followed by Australia, the Netherlands, the United States and New Zealand, respectively.

“But when the index is adjusted for internal inequalities in health, education and income, some of the wealthiest nations drop out of the HDI's top 20. The US falls from #4 to #23, the Republic of Korea from #15 to #32, and Israel from #17 to #25,” the UNDP said in its 2011 Human Development Report.

“Other top national achievers rise in the IHDI [Inequality-adjusted HDI] due to greater relative internal equalities in health, education and income. Sweden jumps from #10 to #5, Denmark climbs from #16 to #12, and Slovenia rises from #21 to #14,” it adds.

The UNDP says HDI rankings are recalculated annually using the latest internationally comparable data for health, education and income. The IHDI was introduced in last year’s Human Development Report along with the Gender Inequality Index and Multidimensional Poverty Index in order to complement the original HDI, which as a composite measure of national averages does not reflect internal inequalities.

The 2011 HDI rankings placed Burundi (185th), Niger (186th) and Congo (187th) at the bottom.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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