Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category

Inclusion, and Graduation and Special Support Measures

image of Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category
The present Handbook contains a comprehensive explanation of the criteria, procedures and methodology used in establishing which countries are eligible for inclusion in, or recommended for graduation from, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) category. It also provides an overview of the special support measures that can be derived from having least developed country status and the implications of graduating from the list in terms of the potential loss of such measures. The Handbook aims at promoting a better understanding of the LDC category and the benefits derived from membership therein. Accordingly, the publication is intended for use by government officials, policymakers, researchers and others interested in the particular development problems and challenges faced by low-income developing countries.




The establishment of a category of least developed countries (LDCs) was fi rst advocated in the 1960s to attract special support measures for the most disadvantaged economies. The United Nations General Assembly acknowledged the need to alleviate the problems of underdevelopment of the poorest countries and requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with, among others, what was at that time the Committee for Development Planning, to carry out a comprehensive examination of the special problems facing the LDCs and recommend special measures for dealing with those problems.


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