Foreign Affairs Ministry deplores erroneous report
Guyana Chronicle
August 3, 2002

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THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described as "misleading" and "erroneous" a Stabroek News report that Guyana has dropped 10 places on the United Nations Development Index.

In a press release Wednesday, the ministry stated: "This report, carried in the Stabroek News of July 24, 2002 and written by 'Oscar P. Clarke of Barbados' is misleading in many respects including the erroneous impression given that the United Nations Human Development Report (UNHDR) 2002 was launched in Barbados on behalf of the region.

"It may be recalled that the Guyana launching of the UNHDR took place on July 24, 2002 at the Georgetown Club and the Honourable Jennifer Westford, Minister of the Public Service Ministry, delivered the feature address."

The ministry noted that because of changes in the methodology of the compilation of the UNHDR, results are not comparable over time.

"However, taking into account changes in the methodology of the HDR as presented in the annual reports since 1990 results are not strictly comparable over time.

"Moreover, the global compilation of statistics is often uneven and the insufficiency of the official data for calculation and monitoring of the HDR reflect a continuing constraint experimented by those responsible for the preparation of the report.

"It should also be noted that whilst in the 2001 Report the number of countries measured was 162, the number measured in 2002 was 173 -- thus making further meaningful comparisons difficult. On this basis Guyana's rank has changed by three places relative to the overall increase in countries that were measured.

"Guyana's movement on the index is more apparent than real and is undeserving of the headline given to the report under reference," the release pointed out.

It added: "What perhaps is of greater relevance, as indicated by the Honourable Minister in her address at the launching ceremony, is the continuing commitment to human development and to the economic and social development of all Guyanese on an equitable and a sustainable basis.

"This is at least consistent with the principal thrust of the Human Development Report of 2002 and does Guyana credit."