Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category

Inclusion, Graduation and Special Support Measures

image of Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category
The 2nd edition of the Handbook contains an updated 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 country (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 of such measures.

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The establishment of the least developed country (LDC) category made it possible to attract special support measures for the most disadvantaged economies, which were consistently lagging behind when compared with other developing countries. From the outset, LDCs were recognized as low-income countries which faced severe structural handicaps to economic growth and development and needed access to support beyond what was commonly available for all developing countries. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) is the organ officially mandated by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the United Nations General Assembly to identify and make recommendations on which countries should belong to the LDC category, whereas the United Nations General Assembly is the organ that ultimately adds countries to or graduates countries from the category. Since 1991, the CDP has conducted triennial reviews of the list of LDCs and dedicated a substantial part of its work programme to the analysis of the development challenges confronted by the LDCs.

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