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U.N. Report Ranks Nations' Technological Development

Released earlier this week, The Human Development Report 2001 ranked the world's countries in order of technological advancements.

Commissioned by the United Nations' Development Program, the report tracked initiatives undertaken by countries to better their citizens lives via technology. Amongst the usual array of first-world tech-leaders, the report praised many developing nations for their technological innovation.

"The governments of developing nations are often less encumbered by investments in yesterday's technology," noted the report, praising South Africa, Tunisia, Brazil, and India for their successes in bolstering local economies through the creation of high-tech hubs. Costa Rica's rapid development into the world's fastest-growing technological economy was also granted a special mention.

Hardly surprisingly, Norway ranked as the most technologically advanced nation, with Australia, Canada, Sweden and Belgium tailing closely behind. Unexpectedly, the United States ranked sixth due to instances of poverty, health insurance issues, and sporadic Net-access in rural and inner-city communities.

Developing economies such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile were ranked as potential tech-leaders of the future alongside Portugal, Spain, Greece, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

At the bottom of the list were countries like Nicaragua and Mozambique where Net-access is virtually unknown and phones are thinly dispersed.

Aside from focusing on Net-access, the report's primary gauge was the manner in which countries employed technology (especially high-technology) and science to improve living conditions and opportunities.

"overnments in both developed and developing countries need to recognize that a sound technology policy affects a host of issues including public health, education and job creation," noted the report's lead-author Sakiko Fukuda-Parr. "Moreover, technology levels the playing field and allows developing countries to compete with more established nations."



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