NEW Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan has called on Papua New Guinea to wake up and realise that it is falling further in the human development index (HDI) ratings since it achieved independence, than any other country in the world.
Sir Julius said this yesterday in East New Britain province where he was guest speaker at the OISCA Rabaul Eco-Tech Training Centre’s 21st graduation.
He said according to his observation, each year the United Nation Development Programme compiled a Human Development Index (HDI) that combines health, education and economic measures to rank the countries of the world on how good the standard of living of their people was.
Sir Julius said at Independence PNG ranked 77th out of about 150 countries in the world, at the approximate mid-point of the international rankings.
He said just about as many countries were worse off than PNG as were better off.
This, Sir Julius said, was not a bad position for a recently independent country, but by 1990, PNG dropped to 105th on the index – 28 countries had passed PNG in only 15 years.
“By 2004, PNG was 139th in the rankings – another 34 countries had passed PNG in only 14 years.
“By 2008, PNG had dropped another 10 places to 149th in the world.
“Think about this, in only 33 years, PNG had been eclipsed by over 70 countries on the HDI,” Sir Julius said.
“I should not be talking about this at such a fascinating day but people need to be told that there is a need to recognise and change the way things were done in this country.”
Sir Julius said he believed key messages that OISCA had been delivering to work with the people, work from the ground up and not from the top down.
“We need to rethink how government works in PNG as the government closest to the people is the government that knows the needs of the people and not the one located in Waigani.”