Argentina, Chile and Uruguay with high human development
Seven Latinamerican countries figure among the group with the highest level of human development in the world according to the annual report from the United Nations Development Program.
The Human Development annual report has Norway top of the list and Nigeria in the extreme end, with Argentine rating 34, Chile 37, Uruguay 46, Cost Rica 47, Cuba 52, Mexico 53 and Panama 56.
The Latinamerican countries are included in the "highest human development" group which classifies 177 countries taking into account life expectancy, schooling, literacy and real per capita income among other indexes.
Norway is top of the list with a life expectancy of 79,4 years and a per capita income of 37.670 US dollars, followed by Iceland, Australia, Luxembourg, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium and United States. The list continues with Japan 11, Great Britain and France 15 and 16, Germany 20 and Spain 21.
Nigeria figures last with a life expectancy of 44,4 years and per capita annual income of 835 US dollars.
In the medium human development group figure the rest of Latinamerican countries and the lowest level is almost monopolized by African countries with some exceptions such as Haiti.
The report calls for swift and dramatic changes in global aid, trade and security policies to fulfil the promises made by the international community when world leaders gathered here to address these problems five years ago.
"The world has the knowledge, resources and technology to end extreme poverty, but time is running out," said UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the 2005 Human Development Report spells out what is at stake in the September 14-16 New York World Summit.
"I urge member states to heed this timely message, and to use next week's Summit to launch us on a global effort to make this vision a reality. And I commend the ideas and analysis in this report to all citizens, civic organizations, Governments, parliaments and international bodies who are working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," Annan said.
The report was delivered to world leaders through the missions of the 191 member states of the United Nations in preparation for the 2005 World Summit, which will be the largest-ever gathering of heads of state and government.
The Summit will be assessing progress and recommending further action toward achieving the MDGs, which originated in the Millennium Declaration, unanimously adopted by world leaders at the Millennium Summit at the UN in 2000. The MDGs include pledges to halve extreme poverty, reduce child deaths by two-thirds, and achieve universal primary education by 2015.
The authors emphasize that development is ultimately up to the governments of developing countries to tackle inequalities, respect human rights, encourage investment and root out corruption.
But the Report focuses on the role richer countries must play to defeat poverty, in three vital areas?aid, trade and security.
"Failure in any one area will undermine the foundations for future progress," warned Watkins.
"More effective rules in international trade will count for little in countries where violent conflict undermines opportunities to participate in trade. Increased aid without fairer trade rules will deliver sub-optimal results. And peace will remain a fragile entity without the prospects for improved human welfare and poverty reduction that can be provided through aid and trade".
The Report decries what it calls ?perverse taxation,' under which the world's poorest countries face the highest tariffs in rich countries, and examines the impact on the poor of agricultural subsidies and protectionism in wealthy industrialized nations.
Donor countries, the Report shows, spend 1 billion US dollars a year aiding agriculture in developing countries and one billion US dollars a day on domestic subsidies that undermine the world's poorest farmers.
At the same time, the report warns that the European Union and the US are restructuring their subsidy programmes to limit the effectiveness of WTO disciplines.
The overall effects of agricultural protectionist measures and subsidies in wealthy countries, the Report estimates, cost developing countries close to 72 billion US dollars a year?an amount equivalent to all official aid flows in 2003.