|18 September, 2019

UAE among top Arab nations for social progress

The UAE has retained its top ranking among the GCC states in the 2019 Social Progress Index, which takes into account 51 indicators includin...

A general view of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is seen in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 25, 2018. Picture taken December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

A general view of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is seen in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 25, 2018. Picture taken December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The UAE has retained its top ranking among the GCC states in the 2019 Social Progress Index, which takes into account 51 indicators including nutrition, shelter, safety, education, health, personal rights, and inclusiveness.

Ranked 61st with 69.84 points score, the UAE was rated higher than Russia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, Oman, India, and China. However, the country's ranking fell 16 places from 45th position last year, revealed data compiled by the Social Progress Imperative - a US-based non-profit organisation.

The UAE has been bracketed along with several resource-rich countries including Russia (62nd, 69.71 points), Qatar (64th, 69.37 points), and Kazakhstan (69th, 68.20).

The UAE achieved the top score with a first rating in a number of sub-indexes including undernourishment of population, access to electricity and mobile telephone subscription. The emirates also scored highly in vulnerable employment, perceived criminality, discrimination and violence against minorities, Internet users, access to online governance, quality of electricity supply and primary school enrollment of children and corruption sub-indexes. Regionally, the UAE is followed by Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia among the Arab countries. Among other major countries, Turkey was ranked 72nd, China 89th, the Philippines 94th, Egypt 96th, India 102nd and Pakistan 125th.

The top 10 positions are dominated by Scandinavian countries, led by Norway, which ranked first on the 2019 Social Progress Index with a score of 90.95, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative, said that the results of the 2019 index showed that social progress is not advancing quickly or widely enough.

"Our current projection is that the world will not successfully fulfil the UN's Sustainable Development Goals until 2073. Even the most prosperous countries have areas of weakness that they need to address and it should be of great concern to all, that rights are declining - including in the US," Green said.

Since the first Social Progress Index in 2014, the US has consistently shown underperformance relative to its GDP per capita. This is exceptional among leading economies. That trend continues in 2019 as the US ranks 26th in the world on social progress, below Slovenia and Estonia and the lowest of the G7.

Michael E Porter, professor at Bishop William Lawrence University, said that the US economy is still growing, the headline unemployment rate is at near-historic lows, and the stock market remains near highs. But, a deeper look paints a very different picture.

"America is mired in a social progress recession. Far from a leader, the reality is that America's quality of life is lagging in the opportunities available for many citizens in areas such as personal safety and maternal mortality, among many others. The fact is that our country is failing on many of the aspirations and principles we hold most dear. And it's getting worse," he said.

 
 
 

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