The Least Developed Countries Report 2014

Growth with Structural Transformation - Post-2015 Development Agenda for LDCs

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As we reach the target date to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the LDC Report analyses the performance of the LDCs in progressing towards these goals and provides a framework for their development policies in the post-2015 period. The Report shows that there is a high degree of differentiation among LDCs’ performance towards the MDGs, but most of these countries will not be able to attain most MDGs. This disappointing outcome is surprising given that LDCs have experienced historically high economic growth rates over the last 20 years, and domestic and international policies for LDCs have set MDGs as top priority. In the coming post-2015 period, the LDCs will face the challenge of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), for which structural transformation will be a precondition.

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LDCs’ progress towards achieving the MDGs

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, see table 7) have embodied the objectives of the global community with respect to development since 2000. In addition, the Brussels and Istanbul Plans of Action have set the economic development objectives for least developed countries (LDCs) during this period. However, while the LDCs have achieved an overall economic growth rate broadly in line with the 7 per cent target set by those Plans of Action, the majority of LDCs are expected to miss most of the MDGs. As discussed in box 2, the MDG metrics, by their very nature, are exceptionally challenging to the LDCs, so that failure to meet those targets should not be interpreted simply as a shortcoming of LDC governments themselves; it also reflects in part a failure of the international community to live up to its commitments to global development in general, and to LDCs in particular.

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