Thursday, December 20, 2007


The case of Colombia is particularly revealing and disturbing. Most Latin American countries are Member or Associate State of the Meter Convention. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela are Member States. Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama are Associates States of the Convention. Colombia has not signed the Convention and is the only country [Rank 33] listed among the top 50 failed States.
The procedure for a State to join the Meter Convention or to become an Associate of the General Conference is quite straightforward. The cost to join is modest and the benefits of participating are countless. The impact of measurement to society has been abundantly documented. For instance, the report Evolving Needs for Metrology in Trade, Industry and Society and the Role of the BIPM has emphasized the worldwide need for reliable measurement. An economic analysis of the benefits of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement[MRA], commissioned by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures and undertaken by KPMG Consulting, estimated the impact of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement in reducing technical barriers to trade at US$4 billion. Around 90 % of world trade in merchandise exports is between MRA participant nations. According to United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the GDP growth rate of Colombia is expected to sharply decrease in 2008. The annual rates of GDP growth (in U.S. dollars at constant 2000 prices) was 4.7 in 2005, 6.8 in 2006, 6.6 in 2007 and is estimated to be about 4.8 in 2008.
Considering the importance of this issue, I encourage all Colombians to urge their Government to join the Meter Convention. They know better than most that: "Sin unidad, no puede haber paz." (It is not possible to translate this sentence in English because unidad means both unit and unity. This sentence means more or less the following: Without unit(y), there can be no peace.) Read full story

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