Development community needs to support graduating LDCs
The international development community has to devise a set of support measures for the least developed countries in order to ensure their smooth and sustainable graduation, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
In the next decade, 12 countries, including Bangladesh, will walk out of the LDC group, he said.
"This is one of the rare success stories of recent development history. However, these countries will be graduating with a host of vulnerabilities and fragilities."
He spoke while briefing the LDC ambassadors accredited to the United Nations in New York on February 28.
The meeting was chaired by Rabab Fatima, ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, New York and the acting chair of the coordination bureau of the LDC group in the UN.
The meeting was addressed by the permanent representatives and ambassadors of Afghanistan, Laos, Nepal and Sierra Leone.
Roland Mollerus, head of the UN CDP Secretariat; Susannah Wolf, deputy chief of the Office of the High Representative Least Developed and Land-locked Countries, and Matthias Bruckner, economic officer of the CDP Secretariat, also spoke on the occasion.
The graduating LDCs include small island states, landlocked countries, climate change affected economies and post-conflict societies and they suffer from structural weaknesses, said Debapriya, also a member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations.
He alerted the participants of the meeting about the possible impact of the post-graduation loss of the preferences and flexibilities usually available to the LDCs.
He particularly highlighted the specific implications in the areas of duty- and quota-free market access, access to concessional and blended finance, enforcement of intellectual property rights and technology transfer.
Debapriya suggested that a technical and political process needs to be urgently put in place urgently to design a post-graduation incentive package for the countries leaving the LDC group.
Such a package may be endorsed by the fifth UN Conference on LDC (LDC V) that is to take place in Doha in March 2021.
Ambassador Fatima in her concluding comments called upon the LDC members and the international development partners to actively take part in the regional preparatory meeting of the LDC V that is to take place in Dhaka in end April 2020.