UN rating notes Belarus as boasting high human potential development index
This year’s annual UN report conveniently divides countries into four groups — noting very high, high, average and low human potential development levels. Belarus is the only CIS country to gain ‘a high level of human potential development’. Such figures may seem boring but they reveal much about how we live.
The human potential development index is a complex parameter embracing such important components as expected life span, revenue per capita and level of literacy. Additionally, the level of crime and environmental protection are taken into consideration, alongside freedom, labour rights, Education, social protection and medical services. These are all crucial factors without which our lives would be unrecognisable.
As a result of the rating, Belarus is now ahead of Russia (71st position), Ukraine (85) and many other post-Soviet countries. Georgia is ranked 89th, Turkmenistan is 109th, Moldova stands 117th, Uzbekistan is 119th, Kyrgyzstan is 120th and Tajikistan is placed 127th. Meanwhile, among the most trouble-free countries in the world are Norway, Australia, Iceland, Canada and Ireland — leading among the 182 states on the UN list. Niger, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone are defined as having low human potential development levels (among a total of 23 states in this group).
The UN Development Programme has been publishing reports on human development annually since 1990. Migration problems are the focus of this year’s document, which covers domestic and foreign migration. Points of view are gathered from migrants, their families and from the residents of the country where they choose to move to. “Migration is a process which needs government, rather than a problem which must be solved,” notes the UN / UNDP Representative in Belarus, Antonius Broek, commenting on the report’s conclusions. “Mobility and the search for a better place to live are matters of personal freedom for all of us.”
According to the official, the report has dispelled many myths regarding migration. It is a true challenge to dispel stereotypes. Many believe that ‘migrants steal our jobs and leach from a country’s taxpayers’. Additionally, a popular belief is that migrants are unhappy victims. “It should be enough to recall famous Belarusian migrant Alexander Rybak (Eurovision-2009 winner),” adds Mr. Broek. “Belarus obtains benefits from its stream of migrants, as most are young, educated people,” stresses Sholeh Safavi, from Belarus’ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office. She notes that Belarus is witnessing a growing number of migrants. Last year, 17,500 people arrived in the country (while 9,000 left Belarus). “The situation is leading to Belarus facing problems; we need to control illegal migration,” Ms. Safavi adds. “The country deserves praise for its progress and its adherence to international standards in the field of migration process management while upholding the rights of migrants.”