Amartya Sen Skeptical of UNDP's Data, Separatists Data
By Matthew Russell Lee
November 4 -- While the UN Development Program has just
reported that Myanmar jumped up six places in development from 2005
to 2010, economist Amartya Sen who UNDP calls the seminal contributor
to the first Human Development Reports called that into question on
Press asked Sen about UNDP's portrayal of Myanmar's improvement, Sen
said “I am skeptical of those numbers.” Speaking “non UNese, as
a citizen of the world,” Sen specifically questioned the accuracy
of Myanmar's reporting of its hospital services and school data.
from Minute 12:50.
days before Myanmar's controversial, military heavy elections on
November 7, which the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in
Myanmar has called deeply flawed, while calling for a Commission of
Inquiry into war crimes in the country.
Ki-moon, on the other hand, did not mention to call for a
war crimes inquiry in his report to the General Assembly entitled
“Human Rights in Myanmar,” and has said he “expected” the
Myanmar elections to be free and fair.
UN ESCAP's Heyser & Amartya Sen: one upbeat on
Myanmar, Sen skeptical
Klugman, on the podium with Sen, tried to defend the report, saying
that a country like Myanmar might have moved up in the ranking simply
because there were other countries near to it. But Sen was
questioning if the data UNDP is relying on is accurate.
does not appear
that UNDP verifies or even assesses the accuracy or completeness of
the data it uses. On November 1, Inner City Press asked Ms. Klugman
if the Cyprus number includes data from the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus. She wrote the questions down, took Inner City Press'
card and said she would respond.
November 4 when
asked, she did not have an answer. Afterward, another UNDP
communicator approached to say that UNDP uses the UN definitions.
Pressed by a Turkish journalist, he said that the UN does not
recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But how does
Cyprus report on this territory? Or are there parts of the world
whose data simply are not included in UNDP's report? UNDP should name
them. Watch this site.
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“Doing Badly,” Ban Ki-moon “In a Rough
By Matthew Russell Lee
-- Elite pro-Asia academic Kishore Mahbubani,
speaking Friday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said
is “doing badly.”
response to a question
from Inner City Press about the UN Secretary General, Mahbubani's
first response was that S-G Ban Ki-moon “has hit a rough patch.”
response Mahbubani said that Deng Xioping should have gotten
the Nobel Peace Prize and that Asia is a much more serious power than
the Muslim world, that he nevertheless could not present a story of
an upward trend line about Myanmar or Ban Ki-moon is significant.
that he is confident in receiving a second terms
as S-G (Team Ban contests the translation) and that the reviews of
his performance by the international
community have been “very positive.” But even Mahbubani could not
deliver a positive review.
in a wood paneled room over Park Avenue and
68th Street, lined with oil painting of somber Caucasian old men.
This was largely the audience, too, but for two younger women who
spoke of human rights.
Mahbubani said that human rights
cannot be spread by sanctions, and that “after Guantanamo Bay, no
one takes the US State Department Human Rights Reports seriously.”
the sister of Senator John Kerry, who works at the US Mission to
the UN, and Ban Ki-moon's speechwriter Michael Myer, among with John
Brademas and David Denoon of NYU, both of whom asked questions.
was “Judith Miller, Journalist.” One wondered what
she thinks of Mahbubani's analysis that the US wrongfully spends 80%
of its foreign policy on the Muslim world, including Iraq, while it
should be devoting those resources to countering China's rise.
Mahbubani, when he was Singapore's PR to the UN,
with Sri Lanka's Kohona
China overplayed its hand in strong-arming Japan to return
its ship captain, one also wonders what he'd make of China's
moves to block the
release of a UN Sudan Sanctions Committee report asserting
that Chinese bullets were found in Darfur after an attack on UN
peacekeepers there. The event ended at 9 am, and Mahbubani said he
had to catch at 10 am train.
audience that he is used to being attacked, most
recently on by a historian while taping this week's Fareed Zakaria
GPS show on CNN. He praised Zakaria's piece which praises India -- a
regular circle of praise.
Tom Friedman editorialized about
conversation with Mahbubani over tea, Mahbubani recounted a talk with
a “senior State Department official over tea.” In these heady
circles, the UN and Ban Ki-moon are an afterthought, going through a
rough patch. Watch this site.
was reminiscent of Tom Plate's
"Giants of Asia" talk at the Singaporean Mission to the UN earlier this
year, and his book series by that name which now, Inner City Press
has been told, will not include Ban Ki-moon. We'll see.
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