The Government of Bangladesh attaches highest priority to ensure smooth and sustainable least developed country (LDC) graduation from Bangladesh with momentum in its plans and executing such plans accordingly.
"To this end, we have established an effective platform to support sustainable graduation taking all the relevant stakeholders on board," said Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, while speaking as the chief guest at a virtual meeting on "Graduation of Bangladesh from LDC category and smooth transition towards sustainable development" on Wednesday.
The meeting reviewed the priorities of Bangladesh in graduating from the LDC category, smooth transition and the International Support Measures (ISM), including both traditional and new forms of support, needed from the international community.
The meeting comprised two business sessions. The first session was themed on "Preparing for Graduation and Smooth Transition and Support" when Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh spoke on the challenges of LDC graduation and the way forward. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin delivered a presentation on "Planned Strategy for Smooth Graduation".
This session also featured a presentation on "Preparing for Graduation and Smooth Transition - what next after Committee for Development Policy (CDP) recommendation" by Matthias Bruckner from CDP Secretariat while Mereseini Bower from the same entity delivered a presentation on "New Sustainable Graduation Support Facility".
The second business session was themed on "Results of a Survey on Assistance Measures for LDC graduation in Bangladesh". Member of UN CDP Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya spoke on the "CDP's Contribution to the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs and Global Support Measures".
Consultant of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Fahmida Khatun presented the draft survey report on "Assistance Measures for LDC graduation in Bangladesh - Key Findings and Recommendations" in the meeting.
Notably, Bangladesh has been recommended for graduation from the LDC status during the latest triennial review of CDP in February 2021. Recognising the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, CDP has also recommended an extended, five-year-long preparatory period from 2021 to 2026 as well as enhanced monitoring, analysis, and transition support.
During the preparatory period, Bangladesh will prepare a smooth transition strategy (STS) in cooperation with development and trading partners and with targeted assistance from the United Nations system, especially members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on LDC Graduation Support.
The STS is expected to provide the basis for a successful transition, ensuring that LDC-specific ISMs are phased out in a way that does not disrupt the country's development progress. The ERD, Ministry of Finance will coordinate the process of preparing the STS by involving all the stakeholders.
At the programme, Members of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam and Sharifa Khan, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury also came up with their comments during this business session.
Secretary, Prime Minister's Office Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, who chaired the event, extended his gratitude to the UN team for their positive remarks and also hopes that both the side will work jointly in the coming days to materialise the initiatives for sustainable graduation.
ERD of the Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) jointly organised the meeting.
Principal Coordinator (SDGs Affairs) of Prime Minister's Office Zuena Aziz, director of OHRLLS and Chair of the UN Inter Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation Heidi Schroderus-Fox, and UN CDP Member and Chair for Sub-Group on LDCs Taffere Tesfachew spoke during the inaugural session the event.
CDP Secretary Roland Mollerus co-chaired the programme. High officials from the government's Ministries and Divisions, UN Systems, development and trading partners, and private sector participated in the meeting.