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UN Resolution To Upgrade Laos From LDC

Source: NST

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution to upgrade Laos, Nepal and Bangladesh from the least developed country category (LDC).

The Laotian Times reports that according to a statement by the UN, the three countries will graduate from the LDC category after an exceptionally extended preparatory period of five years.

The move comes after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the three nations on Thursday.

This will enable them to prepare for graduation while planning for a post-Covid-19 recovery and implementing policies and strategies to reverse the economic and social damage incurred by the Covid-19 shock.

The resolution noted that graduating from the category of least developed countries should not result in a disruption or reversal of development plans, programmes, and projects for the three countries.

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The identification and graduation of LDCs by the UN Committee for Development Policy is currently based on three criteria: per capita gross national income (GNI), human assets, and economic vulnerability to external shocks.

All three countries are now scheduled to officially become a developing country in 2026 as the UN committee recommends it to receive it in five years instead of the usual three years.

The countries will continue to receive all concessions and support measures as LDC.

The Kathmandu Post said that in the last two triennial reviews conducted in 2015 and 2018, Nepal had met two of the three criteria related to the human asset index and economic vulnerability index.

It couldn’t, however, meet the per capita income criterion.

A country becomes eligible to graduate from LDC after meeting two of the three criteria.

But Nepal had requested for postponement of graduation considering the impacts of the devastating 2015 earthquakes.

According to the UN, the gross national per capita income of a country needs to be at least US$1,222 for it to be accorded developing country status.

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At present Nepal’s per capita income is US$1,191, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Nepal was included on the LDC list in 1971.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal termed the move as a “great milestone” towards the development march of the country.

“This is an international recognition of the indomitable development march of Bangladesh,” the Dhaka Tribune quoted him saying.

“People from all walks of life are part of this success,” he said.

When the UN included Bangladesh in the LDC group in 1975, the country’s poverty rate was 83 per cent.

The rate of poverty declined over the years and it was 20.5 per cent before the pandemic devastated jobs and income opportunities for many in the country.

The country has met for the second time, all the three eligibility criteria for the graduation.

Bangladesh’s per capita income was US$1,827 in 2019.