Background reading

The UN Committee for Development Policy LDC Handbook

The 2018 UN Committee for Development Policy LDC Handbook provides comprehensive information on the least developed country (LDC) category, including a description of procedures and methods used in the identification of these countries, and the support measures associated with it.

Section on graduation from LDC handbook

The following downloadable Word document, extracted from the 2018 LDC handbook, describes in detail the procedures for graduation from the LDC category as well as preparation for graduation and the concept of smooth transition.

UN Committee for Development Policy LDC graduation impact assessments

Since 2007, the UN Committee for Development Policy Secretariat has prepared an ex-ante impact assessment of the likely consequences of graduation on economic growth and development after a country has been found eligible for graduation for the first time. The following link is to all the graduation impact assessments including the 2018 assessments for Bhutan, Kiribati, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

Implementation, effectiveness and added value of smooth transition measures and graduation support

August 2018 report by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on smooth transition measures, including initiatives to support countries during graduation from the LDC category, as well as ways to support graduated countries.

Access the report via this link.

The UNOHRLLS Guide to Least Developed Country Graduation

The UNOHRLLS Guide to Least Developed Country Graduation provides a quick, comprehensive overview of the graduation process, including graduation criteria. It provides readers with sources of further information and support.

Prospects of LDCs leaving the graduation criteria by 2030

Using a range of scenarios, this paper estimates the number of LDCs likely to graduate by 2030 and works out how much progress will be needed if a substantial number of countries are to do so.

Expanding Productive Capacity: Lessons Learned from Graduating Least Developed Countries

This Committee for Development Policy Note highlights the need for integrated policies across five broad policy areas: (i) development governance; (ii) policies for creating positive synergies between social outcomes and productive capacity; (iii) macroeconomic and financial policies that support productive capacity expansion and increase resilience to external shocks; (iv) industrial and sectoral policies; and (v) international support.

The Policy Note also stresses that the heterogeneity among LDCs requires different national strategies and different international support for various groups of LDCs. The Committee identified three different pathways towards graduation and highlights associated policies for each.

A Guide to Leaving Least Developed Country Status: Sustaining Graduation with Momentum

This guide from the Commonwealth Secretariat helps policy makers adapt to the loss of tariff rents induced by graduation. It does this through the integration of Global Value Chain analysis with conventional approaches towards tariff preference erosion.
 

A Guide to Leaving Least Developed Country Status: Sustaining Graduation with Momentum

LDC Graduation and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The following informal note, prepared by the WTO, outlines the main WTO-related implications of leaving the LDC category, including special and differential treatment and preparing for smooth transition.

LDC Graduation and the WTO

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) vulnerability profiles

UNCTAD prepares a vulnerability profile after an LDC has been found eligible for graduation for the first time. The profile aims at assessing the extent of external economic and natural shocks on the economic performance and economic structure of the country under review. It might also include additional information, such as ecological fragility as well as structural handicaps not captured in the criteria used to designate LDCs by the Committee for Development Policy.

World Trade Organisation Trade Policy Reviews

Surveillance of national trade policies is a fundamentally important activity running throughout the work of the World Trade Organisation. At the centre of this work is the Trade Policy Review Mechanism. All WTO members are reviewed, the frequency of each country’s review varying according to its share of world trade.

UNCTAD LDC Reports

The UNCTAD Least Developed Countries Report provides a comprehensive and authoritative source of socio-economic analysis and data on the world´s most impoverished countries. The Report is intended for a broad readership of governments, policy makers, researchers and all those involved with LDCs´ development policies. Each Report contains a statistical annex, which provides basic data on the LDCs.

UNCTAD LDC reports

The UNCTAD Least Developed Countries Report provides a comprehensive and authoritative source of socio-economic analysis and data on the world´s most impoverished countries. The Report is intended for a broad readership of governments, policy makers, researchers and all those involved with LDCs´ development policies. Each Report contains a statistical annex, which provides basic data on the LDCs.