Facing challenges, sustaining momentum

15 Mar 2013

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Although the rise of the South drives economic growth and lifts hundreds of millions of people from poverty, the South still faces long-term challenges shared by industrialized countries of the North.

New Horizons - These challenges includes an aging population, environmental pressures, social inequalities, mismatches between educational preparation and job opportunities and the need for meaningful civic engagement, among others.

These require both national and global solutions if developing countries are to maintain their human development momentum.

Environmental inaction, especially regarding climate change, has the potential to halt or even reverse human development progress in the world’s poorest countries and communities, the Report warns.

The number of people in extreme poverty could increase by up to three billion by 2050 unless environmental disasters are averted by coordinated global action, it says.

New Resources, New Opportunities, New Institutions

The South itself has both the expertise and the resources to be a more powerful force in global development, the Report argues.

Developing countries now hold two-thirds of the world’s total $10.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, including more than $3 trillion in China alone, and about three-quarters of the $4.3 trillion in assets controlled by sovereign wealth funds worldwide.

Even a small share of these vast sums could have a swift measurable impact on global poverty and human development, the Report says.

The 2013 Report argues that the rise of the South is challenging existing global institutions to change and showing new ways that countries and regions can work together to confront shared challenges.

The rise of the South and its potential for accelerating progress for future generations should be seen as beneficial for all countries and regions, as living standards improve and the world as whole becomes ever more deeply interdependent, the Report emphasizes.

“The South needs the North,” the Report says, “and, increasingly, the North needs the South.”

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