Barbados retains rank on UN index

luigimarshall, luigimarshall@nationnews.com

Added 13 December 2011

delisleworrelldrlm

Barbados has retained its 47th ranking on the United Nations (UN) Human Development Index. According to the UN Human Development Report 2011 presented to Acting Minister of the Environment Senator Haynesley Benn by Michelle Gyles-McDonough, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, at UN House yesterday, Barbados remains at number 47 among 186 countries for the second consecutive year. And Gyles-McDonough supported the view of Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell, who in commenting on the report said it was an achievement, given Barbados’ economic and social challenges. Worrell noted Barbados had made “enormous” progress in human development over the years, reflecting the experience of “all of the Caribbean nations”. “We have come a long way. We will continue to progress . . . . I think the sort of doomsday types of scenarios which so often seem to pervade the Press are [the] result of myopic thinking. I think that Caribbean creativity and our innate abilities, the educational foundation we have laid and the fact that the Caribbean nation has now spread its wings into the Diaspora . . . guarantee the region’s future.” But Worrell tempered his positive view with two caveats: the need to address migration within the Caribbean and the urgency to develop alternative energy sources. He called for a revised regional migration strategy, saying it was “one of the things we need to address in order to address the inequities that exist [in the] region”. “We have all made strides but we are still in different categories. “The unfortunate circumstance within the Caribbean is that two of our largest partners are the ones in the lowest categories. What that requires is a migration strategy which takes account of those disparities because that is the reality we face and it is not going to disappear overnight,” Worrell warned. The Human Development Report drew attention to the issue of inequity in mobility and migration within economies, an area in which Worrell said the Caribbean had “a tremendous experience”. The Central Bank Governor said technology was within Barbados’ grasp and he acknowledged there were “enough initiatives within our grasp” and “enough initiatives already started which can put us within reach of significant reduction in our dependence on fossil fuel”. (GC)  

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