Human Development Report demonstrates progress, Peacebuilding Fund appeals for $300 million over next 3 years, U.S. prepares for tomorrow’s UPR and more from UN Direct

UNDP’s HDR: today UNDP launched the 20th anniversary edition of the Human Development Report.  Speaking at the launch, the SG acknowledged the visionary nature of the reports, which argue that measuring progress exclusively in economic terms is wrong and that quality must, too, be a factor – growth must improve people’s lives. The once radical idea is of “people-centered development” is now widely accepted: “Yes, economic growth matters.  But what matters more is giving each individual a better chance at a long, healthy and productive life”.  Also speaking this morning, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark demonstrated progress over the past 40 years in the 135 countries the HDR covers, as the average life expectancy has risen from 59 to 70 years, primary school enrollment has grown from 55 to 70% and per capita income doubled to over $10,000.

Peacebuilding Fund Stakeholders Meeting: today the Peacebuilding Fund convened its first high-level stakeholders meeting, at which the SG appealed for continued financial support to help the Fund’s engagement in 18 countries.  It is currently seeking $100 million per year for the next three-year period (2011-2013).

Haiti: OCHA is continuing its preparation for Hurricane Tomas, as it estimates the storm could affect up to a half of a million people.  Although the UN has prepositioned key supplies (food, water, shelter, etc.), it is appealing for additional emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits, water treatment units, radios and 200 field tents to serve as emergency cholera treatment shelters.

USG Amos to Sudan: today USG for Humanitarian Affairs & ERC Valerie Amos arrived in Khartoum for the start of a week-long visit to Sudan, which will also include visits to Southern Sudan and Darfur.

U.S. UPR: tomorrow, from 10am-1pm in Geneva, the U.S. will undergo its first Universal Periodic Review, led by Esther Brimmer, Harold Koh and Michael Posner, which will be live webcast.  This will be followed by a Town Hall organized by the U.S. Mission, designed to facilitate dialogue with civil society.  The Town Hall is also expected to be webcast here.