Bangladesh is set to meet the LDC graduation criteria for the consecutive second time and will be recommended for graduation during the upcoming triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations in February 2021.
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 12 January 2021 as part of the Preparation of the upcoming triennial review meeting.
Bangladesh delegation for the online session was led by the Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister’s Office Ms. Zuena Aziz. Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) Ms. Fatima Yasmin delivered a presentation during the session—highlighting the unprecedented socioeconomic progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent times as well as 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 consecutive second 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 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 the provisions of the United Nations, 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.
During her country presentation, ERD Secretary mentioned that Bangladesh is going to be recommended for graduation at a time when the whole country is celebrating fifty years of its independence as well as the birth centennial of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The country presentation highlighted the unprecedented progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent years in various macroeconomic and socioeconomic indicators. It also reflected on multifarious measures that have been and will be taken by the government in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders to best utilize the opportunities that would be created for the country in the aftermath of graduation.
The country presentation also called on the international community for the continuation of international support measures in the aftermath of graduation as well as for enhancing the flow of development financing to tackle the impacts of climate change and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Member (Senior Secretary) of the General Economics Division of Planning Commission Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary of the Finance Division Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Dr. Md. Jafar Uddin, Secretary of the Health Services Division Mr. Md. Abdul Mannan, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mr. Ziaul Hasan, Secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education Division Mr. Md. Mahbub Hossain, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division Mr. Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations in New York Ms. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations in Geneva Mr. Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Joint Secretary and Project Director of Support to Sustainable Graduation Project of ERD Mr. Farid Aziz were part of the Bangladesh delegation for the meeting.
Chair of the Committee for Development Policy Mr. 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 United Nations 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 graduation of LDCs is currently based on three criteria: 1. GNI per capita 2. Human Assets Index (HAI) and 3. Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI).