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Nepal determined to leave the LDC group in 2022

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ram Sharan Mahat, announced that strategies to facilitate the migration from the LDC group will be part of the next periodical plan, a three-year strategic roadmap that guides Nepalese policies. The strategies will focus on infrastructure projects dealing with transport connectivity and power. These two elements are the main challenges that Nepal has to address, if the country wishes to meet the criteria to leave the LDC group. Besides infrastructure works, capital expenditure should be accelerated in order to attain a sufficient level in economic growth. Last year, 3.3 % of GDP was spent on capital investment, while it needs to be 8 to 12 % for the...

UNDESA discusses LDC graduation in the margins of the LDC conference in Benin

On 28-31 July 2014, the ministerial meeting on new partnerships for productive capacity building in the Least Developed Countries takes place. On the website of the UN High representative for LDCs, LLDC and SIDS you can find detailed information about the conference and the conference agenda. One of the side events organized during this conference is a UNDESA discussion session, where the likelihood of 24 LDCs graduating from the category by 2020 will be debated. This was one of the objectives of the IPoA.  Mr. Hiroshi Kawamura (CDP Secretariat, UN/DESA) will give a presentation and Mr. Alassane Drabo (FERDI) is discussant. More information: UNOHRLLS , UNDESA event

Upcoming Ministerial Conference on Productive Capacities in LDCs

  O n 28-31 July 2014, a Ministerial Conference on New Partnerships for the Development of Productive Capacities in LDCs takes place in Cotonou, Benin. The meeting will make policy recommendations on leveraging development partnerships , including through enhancing contribution of ODA, South-South cooperation, remittance earnings, FDI and other traditional forms of external finance. These recommendations are also expected to feed into the discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda. More info:

Nepal on the road to LDC graduation

N epal might lose its LDC status by 2022. This is in accordance with the Istanbul Program of Action (IPoA). The IPoA was developed during the fourth LDC conference in Istanbul in 2011, and includes the objective to reduce the group of LDCs by half by the end of the decade. A Nepalese newspaper assesses the pros and cons that come with losing the LDC status. On the one hand, Nepal might experience a drop in received ODA and it might lose some of the trade preferences it enjoys today. The benefits mentioned, on the other hand, are national pride and the shift away from aid dependency. The author concludes that the benefits outweigh the costs, a vision that is shared by the Nepalese...

TÜBITAK Graduate Scholarship Programme for LDCs is accepting applications

Applications are invited for TÜBITAK graduate scholarship available for the citizens of least developed countries. The scholarship covers fields of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technological Sciences, Medical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. Applicants must be 30 years old or younger for the MSc/MA programs and 35 years old or younger for the PhD programs on the first day of the application period. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a PhD program in Turkey are also eligible to apply on the condition that they have not yet completed their six semester in the program. Maximum duration for the scholarship is 2 years for the Masters and 4 years for...

Launch of Angola's LDC Graduation book

A digital book on the process of graduation of Angola from the list of LDCs was released in Geneva, Switzerland. Co-authors, Adelino Muxito and Gilberto António, present a study of the impact of the removal of the special measures associated with the LDC status. They reach the conclusion that in the short term, graduation might not have an impact on Angolan exports, taking into account that in various markets, crude oil (which is the bulk of the Angolan exports) has zero or low customs tariffs under the general MFN regime. However, the authors argue that in the medium and long term, the graduation will eventually have an impact on the national policy of diversification of exports, due to...

Samoa graduates from the LDC category

Samoa graduated from LDC status effective 1 January 2014. It now joins Botswana, Cape Verde, and Maldives the only other countries that have left the category.  In 2006, the Committee for Development Policy recommended the graduation of Samoa from the LDC  category to the Economic and Social Council. The Council endorsed the recommendation in July 2007. Subsequently, the GA adopted the resolution on the graduation of Samoa, which was scheduled to take place in December 2010. On 29 September 2009, however, Samoa was hit by a devastating tsunami, which threatened to disrupt the socio-economic progress for several years. Consequently, the GA decided to give Samoa additional...

ESCAP Young Leadership Programme

The goal of the ESCAP Young Leadership Programme for LLDCs and LDCs in the Asia-Pacific region is to contribute to capacity development for the least developed and the landlocked developing countries in training their young leaders to improve their negotiating skills. This will be done in two tracks: (a) through exposure to the work of an international organization, to engage effectively in multilateral forums, negotiations and processes for the least developed and landlocked developing countries, and (b) by exposing them to cutting edge literature on public private partnerships and foreign investment in resource and agricultural sectors. A successful candidate will be a junior or...

Bhutan 12th Round Table meeting with Development Partners

From 10-12 December 2013, a Round Table Meeting (RTM) was organized between the Government of Bhutan and its development partners. The RTMs are the highest forum for policy dialogue and aid coordination between the Government of Bhutan and its development partners. The RTMs provide an opportunity for the government and its development partners to review and discuss issues of mutual interest to further strengthen socio-economic development cooperation ties. This year's agenda included Bhutan's graduation prospects and challenges, with a presentation by UNDP . Source: Government of Bhutan .

General Assembly adopts resolution leading to graduation of Equatorial Guinea and Vanuatu

On 4 December 2013, the UN General Assembly took note of the ECOSOC decision to endorse the recommendation of the CDP that Equatorial Guinea and Vanuatu be graduated from the LDC category. The GA decided to provide Equatorial Guinea, on an exceptional basis, with an additional preparatory period of six months before the start of the three-year preparatory period leading to graduation. In addition, the GA also decided to provide Vanuatu, on an exceptional basis, with an additional preparatory period of one year before the start of the three-year preparatory period leading to graduation. The GA invites both countries to prepare, during the period between the adoption...

Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on Graduation Strategies

From 4 to 6 December 2013, ESCAP, UN DESA and the Government of Cambodia jointly convene an Asia-Pacific Regional Training Workshop on Graduation Strategies,  in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The workshop brings together Member governments, experts dealing with LDC issues, the UN system, relevant regional organizations, development partners and a broad spectrum of civil society representatives from Asia and the Pacific. The main objective of the Workshop is to review the progress made and challenges encountered by Asia-Pacific LDCs towards the graduation thresholds, assess the prospects and suggest policy options for the way forward.  Source: ESCAP

UNCTAD workshop on Cambodia's graduation prospects

UNCTAD held a capacity-building workshop on issues related to Cambodia's graduation from the LDC category, in Phnom Penh, from 8 to 10 October 2013. The workshop was held with participation from senior government officials from a range of Cambodian ministries and agencies. Conceptual, methodological, statistical and substantive policy issues related to graduation from LDC status were discussed. While Cambodia may not be able to meet at least two of the graduation criteria in the near future, it was reported that the country may meet the per capita income threshold in a few years' time, if its current level of economic growth continues uninterrupted. A concept note was prepared by UNCTAD...

Meeting on "aspiring to graduate LDCs" and MDGs acceleration

The Permanent Missions of Turkey and Belgium, in close cooperation with UN OHRLLS, jointly organised a ministerial level breakfast meeting on "LDC Graduation: The Way Towards MDG Acceleration, Sustainable Development and Structural Transformation” (Friday, 27 September 2013). The meeting was organised in support of LDCs who have set graduation from the category as a goal in their national development strategies and engaged in an interactive discussion highlighting how the LDCs’ graduating strategies can directly contribute to MDG acceleration and garner wide ranging support from the development partners with a view to sustaining the LDCs’ efforts towards the full and timely implementation...

Affordable Broadband access- crucial focus for LDCs

Least Developed Countries Without computing technology and affordable broadband access to the Internet, researchers in LDCs cannot effectively participate in the global scientific enterprise, said TWAS director Romain Murenzi at the opening remarks at last weeks International workshop on operational oceanography for developing countries international oceanography in Beijing. Organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), WMO, and TWAS, the four-day forum, is intended to strengthen collaboration among researchers in the 49 LDCs who work in operational oceanography by exploring common scientific and infrastructure issues. Murenzi noted that while some developing countries...

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Research Professors

TWAS is an international science academy, founded in 1983 in Trieste, Italy, by a group of scientists from the South under the leadership of the late Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. The objective of the TWAS Research Professors Programme is to provide institutions and research groups located in LDCs with the opportunity to establish long-term links with TWAS members to assist in research activities and advanced training and so help develop the local scientific capacities. Within the framework of the programme, a number of TWAS Members will be offered appointments as TWAS Research Professors based in LDCs. The appointment will normally be for a period of five years, during...

Bangladesh adopts work plan towards graduation

The Government of Bangladesh adopted a work plan on 12 August 2013 that aims to place the country firmly on the road to graduation from the LDC category by 2021. The strategy focus on  increasing productive capacity, developing human resources, increasing resilience and enhancing governance. A Ministerial Committee has been formed to monitor the implementation.  Bangladesh is the fifth Asian LDC to announce the adoption of a strategy towards graduation. The other countries are: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Nepal. Source:

UNCTAD workshop on graduation in Angola

At the request of the Government of Angola, UNCTAD will organize a national training and capacity building workshop on Angola's progress toward graduation from the LDCs category, on 30 July and 1 August. The workshop will review Angola's prospects, opportunities and challenges in meeting the current graduation criteria: Income (GNI per capita), Human Assets Index and Economic Vulnerability Index as well as provide an opportunity to examine the progress, challenges and opportunities relating to Angola's eventual graduation from the category of LDCs.  Source: UNCTAD .  

Cape Verde: progress continues after graduation

At a WTO Round Table, the development progress of Cape Verde  was analysed and favourably reviewed. The country joined WTO in 2008, the same year it graduated from the LDC category.   According to the session, Cape Verde has continued to make progress towards fater graduation despite the effects of the economic crisis. The session highlighted the importance of the EiF in the country's integration into the international trading system and stressed the importance of securing a smooth transition from the LDC category. Source: All Africa  

Nepal plans to graduate in 2022

The National Development Council of Nepal has approved the country's 13th national development plan. The plan envisages the graduation of the country from the LDC category in the next decade or by 2022. The current interim three-year plan (2010-2013) had anticipated graduation to take place in two decades, or by 2030. The new plan thus pushes graduation plans forward by 10 years. Sources: The Himalayan Times ; Hindustan Times

LDC Fellowship for UNITAR online course: Chairing International Conferences

UNITAR offeres an e-Learning course on Chairing International Conferences (23 Sep - 06 Oct 2013). The course will not only provide information, skills and guidance to delegates who may be appointed or elected to chair meetings, but it is also important for all delegates to understand what the chairman is doing, and why he or she is doing it. The course will focus on the requirements for a strong and able chairmen to be effective, and how delegates may influence outcomes of conferences through the understanding the chairman's role. The course is open to members of Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations Offices, irrespective of their ranks and functions, in particular...