Problems of classification of countries: Recognizing Sovereignty and Identity as a Non-Hierarchical World View
Keywords:global health, colonialism, racism, classification of countries, sovereignty, identity
When classifying countries, we often use terms: rich and poor, resource-rich and resource-limited, old and new world, first and third world, developed and developing countries, high-income countries and low-income countries, global north and south, west and east... Such classifications and vocabulary have their origins in racism and colonialism, which created a false hierarchy among nations, assigned higher value to certain groups of nations, and empowered others to dominate, manipulate, and subjugate others. Terminology, which has been used since colonization to divide the world, is constantly changing to accommodate the changing socio-political environment. However, each new term is in some way a continuation of the inequality that has persisted for centuries. It cannot be denied that there are clear disparities between countries, but relying on such terminology, which was created by only one part of the world, does not allow us to recognize the sovereignty of countries and their independent identity. This problem is not easy to solve. There needs to be an international standard to describe the differences between countries in appropriate terms. When discussing issues of global health and global development, we must use caution and understanding to avoid discriminatory terms. It is important to use terms that recognize the differences between countries and peoples and respect their sovereignty and identity.
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