Bangladesh is set to meet the LDC graduation criteria for the second consecutive time to be recommended for graduation during the upcoming triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations (UN) next month.
The country has called on the international community for the continuation of international support measures for an extended period to make the upcoming graduation smooth and sustainable.Bangladesh has made the call during a session of the ongoing Expert Group Meeting of the Committee for Development Policy held on Tuesday as part of the preparation for the upcoming triennial review meeting, says a finance ministry release.
Bangladesh delegation for the online session was led by the Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister’s Office Zuena Aziz.
Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) Fatima Yasmin delivered a presentation during the session—highlighting the unprecedented socioeconomic progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent times and the latest position of the country regarding graduation.
It was projected during the meeting that since Bangladesh had met all the criteria for LDC graduation for second consecutive time, the country would be recommended for graduation in the upcoming triennial review in February 2021.
At the same time, the Bangladesh delegation called for providing an extended preparatory period of five years spanning from the year 2021 to 2026.
It is notable that Bangladesh met all the criteria for LDC graduation for the first time during the last CDP triennial review held in March 2018. As per UN provisions, a country must be found eligible in two successive triennial reviews to be recommended by CDP for graduation.As per the rules of CDP, a country can enjoy three to five years long preparatory period after being recommended for graduation.
If Bangladesh gets five-year preparatory period for graduation after being recommended by CDP during the upcoming triennial review next month, the country will formally graduate from the LDC status in 2026.
During this preparatory period, Bangladesh would be entitled to enjoy all the international support measures reserved for LDCs. In addition, as per the existing provisions, the country would also remain eligible to enjoy duty free quota free access in the European Union market for three more years lasting until the year 2029.
The country presentation highlighted the unprecedented progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent years in various macroeconomic and socioeconomic indicators.
It also focused on multifarious measures that have been and will be taken by the government in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders to best utilise the opportunities that would be created for the country in the aftermath of graduation.
The presentation also called on the international community for the continuation of international support measures after the LDC graduation to help enhance the flow of development financing to tackle the impacts of climate change and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Chair of Committee for Development Policy José Antonio Ocampo and other members of CDP praised the unprecedented socioeconomic progress made by Bangladesh in recent years.
Although, the concept of Least Developed Countries or LDCs originated in the late 1960s, the first group of LDCs was listed by the UN back in 1971. While there were 25 countries in the list of LDCs back in 1971, the number has grown to 46 now. Bangladesh was first listed as an LDC back in 1975.
So far, a total of six countries have graduated from the LDC status. These are- Botswana (1994), Cape Verde (2007), Maldives (2011), Samoa (2011), Equatorial Guinea (2017) and Vanuatu (2020).
During this year’s triennial review, CDP will assess the graduation progress of four more graduating countries in addition to Bangladesh. These are: Nepal, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Timor-Leste.
The identification as well as the graduation of LDCs is currently based on three criteria: GNI per capita, Human Assets Index (HAI) and Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI).
Member of the General Economics Division (GED) Dr Shamsul Alam, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin, Health Secretary, Md Abdul Mannan, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Ziaul Hasan, Secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education Division
Md Mahbub Hossain, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Mission to the UN in New York Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Mission to the UN in Geneva Md Mustafizur Rahman, Joint Secretary and Project Director of Support to Sustainable Graduation Project of ERD Farid Aziz were part of the Bangladesh delegation for the meeting.