¨In April 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the Hemisphere will meet in the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, to discuss the most pressing challenges facing the region and propose concrete solutions to them¨. Therefore, this forum provides a valuable tool for citizens of the Americas to share ideas and help to enrich the debate that OAS leaders will discuss.
This post is an article wrote by Natalia Cabra, member of WYA originally from Colombia, who is working as an intern at World Youth Alliance Latin America in Mexico City.
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE REALLY POOR, OR POVERTY IS A MATTER OF ITS POPULATION ATTITUDE?
When discussing about poverty we must consider the reality and the actual situation of a “poor” country. There are many places in the world that do not have any goods to exploit, yet they are developed and considered as first-world countries. On the other hand, there are some who own valuable goods, but are still poor and underdeveloped, have high birthrates, and depend on first-world countries from an economic standpoint. For this particular forum, the questions that arise are: Are developing countries poor? Do they choose to be poor? Why do these countries with a plethora of products to export and so much to exploit remain in poverty?
To answer these questions I am going to give an excellent example of a developing country such as Colombia, which is abounding in fauna and flora, has a very large variety of species, has a plentiful amount of minerals, emeralds, gold, and silver, and also produces and exports some of the best coffee in the world. In spite of all of these popular resources that Colombia possesses, it is still considered a poor “third-world country”.
The “winning attitude” or culture of achievement is the intangible that well-developed countries maintain. A successful winning attitude or culture of achievement is represented by education, discipline, and commitment. So in this sense, poverty – among other causes – is a matter of the mind-set of the people. The level of education in Colombia is very low; therefore this condition engenders some population dissonance. Thus, generation after generation do not have the motor or ambition to hold superior knowledge that other countries strive for. Poverty will be always present if the people who inhabit a country are not educated in the pursuit of a better tomorrow through hard work, discipline and commitment. In order to achieve this long term solution, the government must support this optimal preparation and promote nationwide solidarity.
In Colombia, as a ¨Social State of Law¨, the government has the obligation to adopt and apply policies aimed to improve social issues. It is the government’s duty to support its citizens through campaigns and through active education in order to reduce poverty and inequity, and to protect dignity and inherent human rights among population
I personally believe that Colombians are improving their quality of life and overall standard of living. However, the issuing of certain standards and policies have not met the progress we need as a country. The monitoring of social trends is poor, seemingly effortless, and incomplete. Consequently, there is still poor efficiency of justice; therefore, the dignity of persons is not being fully respected. There is still much to do towards the protection of human rights and we must begin widespread education in order to do so. We must remember at all times that the pillars of sustainable developments- as is stated by WYA- the protection of human dignity, the protection of the family and the integral development of people; we as whole are responsible for the¨ pursuit of a sustainable world and the foundation of human rights¨.
Natalia Cabra Guzmán WYA Member