Nepal, Bangladesh and Laos to graduate from the LDC status by 2026

London –  The 40th plenary meeting of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday has unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the graduation of Nepal, Bangladesh and Laos from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category with the preparatory period of five years.

As a result, the three countries will graduate from the LDC category by December 2026. Until then they will continue to receive all concessions and support measures as LDCs.

The five-year preparatory period is provided for a smooth transition, recognizing the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting need to implement policies and strategies to reverse the pandemic’s damage to the economic and social sectors.

The five-year transition period is provided on an exceptional basis mainly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which would normally be for three years.

The resolution has mandated the Committee on Development Policy, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, to analyze the adequacy of the preparatory period at its 2024 triennial review and recommend further extension if necessary, according to the statement.

The resolution also invites the three graduating countries to prepare smooth national transition strategies, with the support of the United Nations system and in cooperation with their bilateral, regional, and multilateral development and trading partners.

After the adoption of the resolution, Amrit Bahadur Rai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN, reiterated Nepal’s commitment to making all-out efforts for smooth graduation with the enhanced level of support from the development partners including the UN system.

According to the United Nations, 46 LDCs host about 40% of world’s poor. Most are suffering conflict or emerging from one. LDCs account for 13% of world population but only about 1.3% of global GDP and less than 1% of global trade and FDI. Even if on the rise, still barely a fifth of the population in LDCs has access to the internet.
Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as the “poorest and weakest segment” of the international community.
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