Thursday, November 4, 2010

UNDP Report Excludes Separatist Data, Praises Myanmar and Iran, Politicized Dev't

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 -- In the run up to today's release by the UN Development Program of its Human Development Report 2010, questions arose about data inclued, and not included, in the Report.

A full three days before the release, Inner City Press asked the lead author of the report Jeni Klugman if for example the “Cyprus” data included the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and why Kosovo was not even listed. She promised to “revert,” but has not.

More tellingly, when asked why the data of Taiwan, a major economy, is not included even under “Other Countries or Territories,” Ms. Klugman acknowledged its exclusion from the data sets, but said it was mentioned in the text. Inner City Press then asked WHY it was the UNDP had excluded Taiwan's data. “You know the UN better than I do,” she answered.

The answer, of course, is the power of China. In the case week that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went to China for four days but pointedly did not mention human rights or the next Nobel Prize winner in his time with President Hu, UNDP issues a report excluded the data of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a “Province of China.”

One can assume that UNDP would adopt whatever map of the South China Sea that Beijing puts out, with or without explanation.

In “Other Countries or Territories,” beyond North Korea, Iraq and Somalia, Lebanon is listed. Inner City Press asked why. Ms. Klugman said that UNDP is not in charge of the data, that is it collected by the World Bank, UNESCO, the World Health Organization and others. But who decided to leave Taiwan out of UNDP's report?

UNDP's Clark and UN Ban, human rights not shown

While these exclusions and lack of clarity are a threshold issue, a finding of UNDP's report is that some countries significantly moved up in the development rankings from 2005 to 2010. In the top three is Iran, something that Ms. Klugman when asked found hard to explain.

She was more effusive on the second fastest climber, Timor Leste -- it's that aid became included, she said. Azerbaijan, the fastest riser, is a an oil story pure and simple. But what about Myanmar, which rose six places from 2005 to 2010? Watch for Ban Ki-moon to use this convenient fact. Watch this site.

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