As if there were any need for additional evidence to prove the uselessness of the United Nations, this latest debacle adds another item to the long list. This one shows how a relatively small dictatorial regime without any economic or military leverage can bully this organization into doing whatever its told.
UN report now accepts Cuban data
A United Nations agency has returned Cuba to its national development ranking after a year of exile to a separate list that included North Korea and Eritrea because of doubts about data provided by Havana.
The Human Development Report for 2011, produced by the U.N. Development Programme and published earlier this month, ranked Cuba 51st in the world and fifth in Latin America and the Caribbean, behind Chile, Argentina, Barbados and Uruguay. Cuba had the same ranking in 2009.
The 2010 report added that Cuba was “currently revising and updating its international statistics in order to establish internationally comparable data,” and it expressed hope “that in due time comparable … data will become available.’’
The 2011 report said only that a key indicator of Cuba’s economy, purchasing power parity, had been “estimated” but gave no details of how that was done and did not mention the island had been left off the 2010 list.
Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a University of Pittsburgh expert on the Cuban economy who has complained repeatedly to the UNDP about its acceptance of Havana’s data, said he was surprised by the island’s return to the main list. “Nothing new has happened, in terms of statistics, that would allow them to reach a more reliable estimate,” Mesa-Lago said.