Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), has said that twelve countries, including Bangladesh, will walk out of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group in the next decade.
He said this while briefing the LDC Ambassadors accredited to the United Nations in New York on Friday (February 28), said a press release.
"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. Thus, in order to ensure their smooth and sustainable transition, international development community has to devise a set of support measures for the graduating LDCs", he said at the briefing. .
The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Bangladesh Rabab Fatima, the acting Chair of the Coordination Bureau of the LDC Group in the United Nations.
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, Office of the High Representative Least Developed and Land-locked Countries (OHRLLS) and Matthias Bruckner, Economic Officer, CDP Secretariat also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Debapriya, a member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations, pointed out that the graduating LDCs suffer from structural weaknesses and include small island states, landlocked countries, climate change affected economies and post-conflict societies.
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-free and quota-free market access, access to concessional and blended finance, enforcement of intellectual property rights and technology transfer.
Dr Debapriya suggested that a technical and political process needs to be urgently put in place 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 Rabab Fatima in her concluding remarks 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.