Arthur Snell &
It's day 3
and counting since the curfew has been lifted and I am still baffled, not by this tiny bout of 'freedom' that Trinidadians are celebrating over (oblivious to the true meaning of a State of Emergency-SoE), but with what I read on October 31, 2011 in the Newsday. Just to recap for those of you who may still be unaware of a feat many large nations are still trying to accomplished! The British High Commissioner for , Mr. Arthur Snell (yes, Oxford-educated and all) also published on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office blog, that this country's dream of working towards and becoming a "developed country" came to fruition in the month of October. This realization and Mr. Snell reason for making such Trinidad and Tobago an assumption statement was because, T&T was removed from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) DAC list of developing countries; in that said month. Snell further stated that, "The premier international organization that makes a judgement on such matters considers T&T to be a developed country than Argentina, Chile and , countries that remain on the list." Costa Rica
I think this non-appearance on the OECD's DAC list seem to get a bit confusing for some people here; whose interpretation and mentality is, "we reach…we have arrived…we is a First World Nation." But let's not get beside ourselves people. In actuality and from my understanding, T&T has not been declared a developed country per se…despite all those fancy high-rise buildings in the nation's capital (had to mention that) and no, I am not trying to be a cynic or pessimistic in the slightest manner. Far from it, for I recognized that the country have made notable strides by increasing literacy rates and improving education (GATE), improving health care and reducing infant mortality rates. We have been steadily climbing with those positive indicators and more. And while we are a small nation, we must not forget that we were also able to use our resources to achieve great things too. But the theory of 'developed' speaks directly to a Eurocentric idea of what it means to be really advanced. Seriously people, think about it. How can a nation be 'undeveloped' one day and then a report makes it 'developed' the next day? Even the most narrow-minded person should be wagging their tongues with questions. But the truth is, our society usually takes things at face-value and run with it. Somehow, we never seem to stop and question any thing. The fact that some people actually think "we have arrive" says a lot..."third world thinking."
Perhaps, to add to this misinterpretation is the United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) report for 2011, which puts
at 62 out of 187 nations in ranking. What this means, is that we are part of the top third of countries in terms of HDI. This HDI, together with our macroeconomics stats, seems to indicate that while we may be far from the poverty of sub-Saharan Africa, we are indeed also, no where close to the peaceful and flourishing Trinidad and Tobago …which ranked first in the HDI report. Norway
That said, it now
sorta kinda feels like a welcome respite, that perhaps we are no longer a "third world." Somehow that always seemed a debasing description whenever I travel. As if they ( First World) were mocking us. Have you experienced that typecasting of T&T being a poor and primitive country…on your travels? Yes, where we are still climbing trees and all? The nerve of some Americans 1st world people…yet we look to them for everything as if they were our God!?! But that is for another post.