Slovenian President in Key-note Address to 3rd OECD World Forum comments on time distance analysis
Sunday, 22 November 2009
At the 3rd OECD World Forum in Busan President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Türk in his key-note address underlined the importance of time distance analysis 

In his Keynote Address in the opening session he addressed the question of measuring social progress and development from three perspectives: human rights, national policy making and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.    

In the third part of his address to the OECD World Forum - Statistics, Knowledge and Policy" (Busan, 27 October 2009) he made remarks on the question of implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. In this context he elaborated on the application of the time distance methodology for benchmarking disparities in the world using the example from the recent report of the International Telecommunication Union and the policy relevance of monitoring MDGs with the generally understandable time distance measure. 

“New techniques of measuring progress can help. Let me take the example of time distance needed to achieve development objectives. …. How much do the policy makers and the general public need to know about the differences in time distance to achievement of various MDGs?”

“As the methodology of measurement of the implementation of MDGs progresses …. A comprehensive set of indices, capable of demonstrating the relevant time distances for achievement of different development objectives would be of considerable help to policy makers in the evaluation of policies in different areas, in the understanding of specific requirements of each policy area and in the effort to define the desired objectives with a realistic understanding of the time needed for their achievement”. 

“Examples I referred to show that social progress and economic development require, among other things, innovation and sophistication in the way we measure them. … And it is necessary to make the timelines of the Millennium Development Goals fully understood. Only then will the policy making be adequate”.  

For interested readers two materials related to the topic are added:

1. Link to Monitoring Millennium Development Goals in Time Distance Perspective http://www.gaptimer.eu/un_millenium_development_goals_/monitoring_millennium_development_goals_in_time_distance_perspective.html 

2. Link to the ITU report ‘The World in 2009: ICT Facts and Figures’, page 4 on 'Catching up'
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/material/Telecom09_flyer.pdf

“A report by the International Telecommunication Union published earlier this month has looked at the time distance in the context of the mobile phone penetration for developing countries. The report has concluded that developing countries are, as a group, at the level at which Sweden was 9.4 years earlier. In contrast, their infant mortality rate showed a time lag of 72 years.”