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Nepal’s Call to Withhold Least Developed Country Graduation Approved by CDP

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has accepted Nepal’s request to withhold its least developed country (LDC) graduation, reports The Himalayan Times.

Nepal had previously made a request to the CDP to not upgrade Nepal’s LDC status to the league of developing nations until 2021 citing that the country is not prepared for the graduation and another triennial review should be carried out in 2021.

CDP is a subsidiary advisory body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Why it matters:

  • CDPs meeting held on Thursday decided not to recommend Nepal for graduation to the UN General Assembly.
  • Graduation to the league of developing countries is expected to remove export preferences in developed markets for Nepal after a certain number of years, which will hit the private sector that has been seeking sustainability in terms of Human Asset Index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI).
  • The LDCs are the major beneficiaries of the Official Development Assistance (ODA). The developed countries have committed to provide 0.75 % of their gross national income to generate the ODA.

The Details:

  • In the 47 years of the LDC category’s existence, only five countries have graduated namely Botswana, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Maldives, and Samoa.
  • The recent CDP meeting has decided to recommend Bhutan, Kiribati, São Tomé and Príncipe and the Solomon Islands for graduation from the LDC category.
  • The committee will send its recommendations to the UN Economic and Social Council for endorsement, which will then refer its decision to the UN General Assembly.
  • As per the UN set criteria, any country graduating to the league of developing nations should have per capita income (PCI) of $1,245, HAI of 66 and EVI below 32.
  • According to the statistics of the fiscal year 2016-17, Nepal’s HAI and EVI stand at 68.7 and 26, respectively, and the PCI at $865.

What they are saying:

  • “Nepal and Timor-Leste also met the criteria for LDC graduation but were not recommended for graduation at this time, due to economic and political challenges,” according to CDP.
  • “We’ll first boost our PCI to the required level by the 2021 review. Then we’ll be ready to graduate to the league of developing countries by 2022,” Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had told media persons a few days ago.

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