In This Review

Arab Human Development Report 2002
Arab Human Development Report 2002
By The United Nations Development Program and the Arab Fund for
United Nations Publications, 2002, 168 pp

Since 1990, the United Nations Development Program has been providing annual "Human Development Reports" that set out the basic social and economic indicators for the nations of the world. But this publication, a report exclusively focused on the 22 Arab states, is a welcome first. The coverage is both comprehensive and comparative, ranking Arab performance with other world areas and often listing the standings of the several Arab states according to these different indicators. Loaded with charts, tables, and eye-catching sidebars, its eight succinct chapters provide a narrative of the existing situation and an agenda for action. The contributors make the case for greater human rights and freedom, complete empowerment of Arab women, and better production and utilization of knowledge. Arab Human Development Report 2002 is the work of Arab specialists, not outsiders. Perhaps this feature will make the report's findings more acceptable to the Arab leadership, both in diagnosis and prescriptions.