Chief slams UN rating - "Baseline data questionable"

Chief slams UN rating - "Baseline data questionable"

Cool_Guy1
Cool_Guy1

May 10th, 2006, 12:22 am #1

Chief slams UN rating (The National - Wednesday 10 2006)

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday slammed the United Nations for recommending that PNG be downgraded to a least developed country.
At the moment, PNG is rated as a developing country.
Sir Michael questioned the motives behind the recommendations of the UN Committee for Development Policy’s (CDP).
He said this was in conflict with PNG’s performance over the last four years. He said those advocating for this change in status are really being misled by inconclusive data on the economy and the social welfare of the country.
“Despite our many shortcomings, Papua New Guinea is not a least developed country.
“One of the UN representatives on the ground here in Papua New Guinea is reported to admit that there is an absence of good baseline data on all sectors in Papua New Guinea.
“How can the United Nations then use unreliable and outdated data to make a value judgment on our development status?
“First, we were relegated to the status of a failed state and, when we proved that we were not, many of our international critics redefined us as a failing state and used the same arguments now employed by the United Nations to justify their claims. Again, when we proved that this did not hold water, those same cynics labelled us as a weak state.
“Now, we are being told to accept the least developed country status,” Sir Michael said.
“The facts are that we have never defaulted on our loan repayments and, since assuming office, the government had, through the development strategy, focused on improving the quality of life and per capita GDP as reflected in the positive economic growth since 2003.
“Despite the difficult cultural and geographical constraints, the PNG government had provided more services and infrastructure such as roads and bridges to many more people than prior to independence.
“We decided not to pursue the World Bank loan and have managed to find solutions internally for ourselves.
“We will continue to provide for our people and on our terms when it comes to dealing with agencies that purport to provide assistance to us.
“Misleading reports like this only serve as justification for those international agencies, including the United Nations, to continue to engage with us,” Sir Michael said.
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Quote, "One of the UN representatives on the ground here in Papua New Guinea is reported to admit that there is an absence of good baseline data on all sectors in Papua New Guinea"

Data availability in Papua New Guinea is non-existent and surely the rating is questionable. Data is not available and whom shall we blame? We can not blame the United Nations for data collection and a better report to upgrade Papua New Guinea to a developing country status, because the fault lies with us as a country. The country is not serious about data collection, and managing the country on ad-hoc basis.

Decisions being made without any basis, maybe text-book explanations yes, but real empirical time series data to support decision is quiet rare in Papua New Guinea.

For the united nations report, Papua New Guinea has a formal and informal sector and i dont think they took the informal sector into account. The informal sector, which consist of about 80% of Papua New Guinea's socio-economic sector is most often discarded hence, making all conclusive statements based data extrapolation from a mere 20% of the formal sector can stand to be criticised.

However, given this rating, i dont think we as a nation should complain but to take it as a challenge to look forward and step into the right direction. There is a saying "A fall, is not a fall if you get up and walk". All we need to do is look at criticisms as positive criticisms. Equiped with that, we have something to prove to the world.

First and formost, sort out the data issue. Enforce statutory regulations to get up-to date data. Papua New Guinea need to have on our finger tips the number of doctors we have, the infant mortality rate, the illitricy level, the population density figures, the per capita GDP allocation, household income, death rates arising from particular diseases, upto date trade figures, up to date GDP figures, etc. All data has to be centrlaised so that we can have the data to prove and plan our actions. Without data, is like stepping into the dark without a torch. We need to have up to date accurate data on all variables of interest to Papua New Guinea so that each agency responsible will have some historical data to plan ahead to improve on each area.

How did the UN came up with the rating? What data did they use for their baseline etc? IF the data from the beginning is questionable, then, the all report is questionable.

Cool_Guy1

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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 10th, 2006, 12:31 am #2

just face it and stop arguing about a stupid rating. PNG is heading down the drain and is probablt already there. Somare is an idiot.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 10th, 2006, 12:50 am #3

i support cool guy.
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Mauswara
Mauswara

May 10th, 2006, 1:09 am #4

Chief slams UN rating (The National - Wednesday 10 2006)

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday slammed the United Nations for recommending that PNG be downgraded to a least developed country.
At the moment, PNG is rated as a developing country.
Sir Michael questioned the motives behind the recommendations of the UN Committee for Development Policy’s (CDP).
He said this was in conflict with PNG’s performance over the last four years. He said those advocating for this change in status are really being misled by inconclusive data on the economy and the social welfare of the country.
“Despite our many shortcomings, Papua New Guinea is not a least developed country.
“One of the UN representatives on the ground here in Papua New Guinea is reported to admit that there is an absence of good baseline data on all sectors in Papua New Guinea.
“How can the United Nations then use unreliable and outdated data to make a value judgment on our development status?
“First, we were relegated to the status of a failed state and, when we proved that we were not, many of our international critics redefined us as a failing state and used the same arguments now employed by the United Nations to justify their claims. Again, when we proved that this did not hold water, those same cynics labelled us as a weak state.
“Now, we are being told to accept the least developed country status,” Sir Michael said.
“The facts are that we have never defaulted on our loan repayments and, since assuming office, the government had, through the development strategy, focused on improving the quality of life and per capita GDP as reflected in the positive economic growth since 2003.
“Despite the difficult cultural and geographical constraints, the PNG government had provided more services and infrastructure such as roads and bridges to many more people than prior to independence.
“We decided not to pursue the World Bank loan and have managed to find solutions internally for ourselves.
“We will continue to provide for our people and on our terms when it comes to dealing with agencies that purport to provide assistance to us.
“Misleading reports like this only serve as justification for those international agencies, including the United Nations, to continue to engage with us,” Sir Michael said.
**************************************************************************

Quote, "One of the UN representatives on the ground here in Papua New Guinea is reported to admit that there is an absence of good baseline data on all sectors in Papua New Guinea"

Data availability in Papua New Guinea is non-existent and surely the rating is questionable. Data is not available and whom shall we blame? We can not blame the United Nations for data collection and a better report to upgrade Papua New Guinea to a developing country status, because the fault lies with us as a country. The country is not serious about data collection, and managing the country on ad-hoc basis.

Decisions being made without any basis, maybe text-book explanations yes, but real empirical time series data to support decision is quiet rare in Papua New Guinea.

For the united nations report, Papua New Guinea has a formal and informal sector and i dont think they took the informal sector into account. The informal sector, which consist of about 80% of Papua New Guinea's socio-economic sector is most often discarded hence, making all conclusive statements based data extrapolation from a mere 20% of the formal sector can stand to be criticised.

However, given this rating, i dont think we as a nation should complain but to take it as a challenge to look forward and step into the right direction. There is a saying "A fall, is not a fall if you get up and walk". All we need to do is look at criticisms as positive criticisms. Equiped with that, we have something to prove to the world.

First and formost, sort out the data issue. Enforce statutory regulations to get up-to date data. Papua New Guinea need to have on our finger tips the number of doctors we have, the infant mortality rate, the illitricy level, the population density figures, the per capita GDP allocation, household income, death rates arising from particular diseases, upto date trade figures, up to date GDP figures, etc. All data has to be centrlaised so that we can have the data to prove and plan our actions. Without data, is like stepping into the dark without a torch. We need to have up to date accurate data on all variables of interest to Papua New Guinea so that each agency responsible will have some historical data to plan ahead to improve on each area.

How did the UN came up with the rating? What data did they use for their baseline etc? IF the data from the beginning is questionable, then, the all report is questionable.

Cool_Guy1
You don't need any data to see that the ship is sinking.

It's obvious in the social and economic panorama of our society that we have gone backwards. PNG has been grappling with a crisis of political instability, economic mismanagement, a dysfunctional bureaucracy, deteriorating infrastructure, deplorable state of the road network, poor health services, worsening law and order problems and pandemic corruption. The impoverished state of the country falls short of reflecting the immense amount of aid accrued over the years and the proceeds of the country’s abundant natural resources.

All these indicators speak for itself. You don't need UNDP statistics to prove it. It's all visible.Since independence it has been a challenge and all our governments have been too busy with playing politics and squandering public monies instead of diverting monies toward meaningful development.

Sampla tingting!
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Cool_Guy1
Cool_Guy1

May 10th, 2006, 1:22 am #5

Very true Mauswara, but dont you think it is foolish for someone to sit relax in the cabin while the ship is sinking?

I do support you on the sentiments expressed, but, personally i need data to explain that to me, because data speaks louder than words. How can we quantify that negative growth.

Once we do, then we can be able to fix it. Without the radar, a ship cant hit a ice-berg or a reef and sink. What we need is a radar to guide the ship. A captain plans his course of action based on the map he has and the radar becomes very important for the ship to arrive at its destination.

Likewise, data is the radar for a country to move forward. At the moment the country has no radar, it is disfunctional. A disfunctional radar can cause the ship to hit obstacles and sink.

A foolish man sits in the cabin sipping beer while the ship is aiming for the reefs and will sink. We know the country is going backwards, but, we dont have to sit back and watch. We need to do something as a country. And i suggested one idea in my previous posting.

Cool_Guy1
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Cowgirl
Cowgirl

May 10th, 2006, 4:25 am #6

Chiefs shameful rebuff on the UN report only admits PNG is an underdeveloped country.

1. Simple economic indicators - ever deteriorating road systems and conditions speaks volume, PNG has droped to underdeveloped status.

2. Human development index, literacy rate in PNG is still below average, with a population growth rate of 2.21%, how many of these kids can go to a 1KM walking distance school? Few schools many kids, squeezing many schoolage kids back to the village - depriving a right to education.

3. Living standards - after 30 years, squatters are yet to be replaced with apartments and self-contained units/flats. Water and electricity are even unavailable in some squatters, or where available, cost of affording them rock above average income rate.

4. Important one is the social structure and wealth distribution - PNG has a very unbalanced social structure and there is a huge gap between the poor and the rich. Strong and good governance is needed to address this fact.

5. Employment and social income - some people, especially casual workers, work hard but pays are trash and below economic means. Minimum wages board is too slack to protect our grassroots, for example, some security companies and asian shops have very low hourly rates or some dont.
________
In my opinion, these are some of the areas, UN has based on to recommend PNG an underdeveloped country. I could partly agree because;
1. All (if not most) national departments and statutory bodies have not update database.

2. National Statistics Office has no update databases on education, literacy, employment, infrastructure, health, crime, agriculture, fishery, forestry etc....because this office is under staffed and less facilitated with utilities to collect annual reports to update databases to charge such UN reports. Whenever needed PNG need to provide justifications to the UN that we are not sliding back to underdeveloped.

Im a Cowgirl
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Mauswara
Mauswara

May 10th, 2006, 5:26 am #7

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Cool_Guy1
Cool_Guy1

May 10th, 2006, 8:37 am #8

Thanks cowgirl for your contribution and mauswara for the links. I agree with you comments.

Cool_Guy1
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loks
loks

May 11th, 2006, 2:35 am #9

cool mi agree lon olsevation bilon yu olsem data UN iusim em representim tasol 20 percent ...

hey lukim mipela lon peles mipela kaikai tapiok na kaukau na saksak na mipela inosave hungere olsem planti hafsaet olsem sore ol turangu olsem Dafua, na wegen?

Hey mi tok olsem UN imas go halivim ol turangu olsem lon Dafua na Iraq na palestine pastem. Maski lon wokim ol kain toktok nating... mi bilim lon stron bilon mipela lain lon ples.
solwara na bush istap... o nogut yu ting migiaman? lusim taun na kam stap lon ples.

tenkiu
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Hastanget
Hastanget

May 14th, 2006, 2:42 pm #10

Thanks cowgirl for your contribution and mauswara for the links. I agree with you comments.

Cool_Guy1
It grieves me to think that people could say outright lies with straight faces and say everything is all ok when so much is not ok. I didn't want to get involve with this particular topic discussion in the first place but as things develop, I feel it necessary to say something. A lot of you that have access to the internet were probably either too young and or not even born yet when PNG achieved independence and so may not have alot to compare. So this is where you may need data to compare.

For those of us who were the products of the colonial times and withnessing the changes that have taken places over the years, we see a completely different picture. We don't need data to tell us if we are going forward or not. For me especially, as I spend most of my time overseas and accessing the PNG every other years... I observe the changes with keen eyes. The fact that I move from one country to another, I can't help but making comparisson of progress in PNG as compared with elsewhere. I have noticed some new changes for the better but looking at the over all picture, I see so much corruption and bad attitudes in the public sector and too much crime and violence that often, I feel ashame to be a Papua New Guinean living abroad.

Imagine, for people who wish to travel to PNG... I have to tell them things like:
1. Don't walk around town after 6PM
2. If you are a woman... don't walk around town during the day by yourself.
3. Don't engage in conversation with strangers unless you are first being introduced.
4. Don't show your wallet and only carry enough money that you may need to spend for the day.
5. Be sure to lock your travel documents and other valuables in the hotel safe so you don't stand a risk of them being stolen.
6. If you are a woman, always travel in a group. Don't get into a taxi to go somewhere by yourself.

Ok, so there are more than one too many "don't", but better to be safe than sorry. Mind you, before 1974 anyone could go anywhere at anytime and know that they would end up having a great time making new friends and going home with a sense of wonder. In 1975, as a foolish young man, I made a bet that I would hitch-hike the whole lenght of the Highlands Highway without paying a single dime. At the last minute another high school classmate decided to join me and we hitch-hiked up the Eastern Australian Coast and into PNG. Strangers would offer us lifts, food and even accomodation in return for a good story of our adventure of how we decided to hitch-hike from Melbourne to Mendi and back again, in two months... with only $50 between us. There is a story in itself and I doubt if any teenagers could do similar thing now and get home safe.

Hast.

Ps: By the way, I ended up winning my $50 bet which was a lot of money for a high school student but spent it all on hospital bills for my traveling companion who nearly died from malaria after we got back.
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