Climate change and inequalities threaten progress in human development
Climate change and inequalities in health, education and income threaten to reverse progress made in the last 40 years to improve people's lives.
That's according to the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, who launched the 2011 Human Development Report on Wednesday.
The report, issued annually, ranks countries and is a gauge of development progress.
She says the world faces many challenges.
"This report says the rate of progress we saw in the last 40 years cannot be maintained unless we get these equity, sustainability issues and challenges tackled. And the impact in the worst case scenario, which is put in this report, is that countries that are already low on the Human Development Index would see widening inequalities and very little progress if the challenges aren't tackled."
This year Norway, Australia and the Netherlands lead the rankings while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi are at the bottom.