The 40th plenary of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution recently endorsing the graduation of Nepal from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category with the preparatory period of five years, according to a statement issued by the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York.
Along with Nepal, the graduation of Bangladesh and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic has also been endorsed by the General Assembly to be upgraded in 2026.
Graduation from LDC status will be effective three years after the United Nations General Assembly takes note of the recommendation made by the Committee for Development Policy under the United Nations Economic and Social Council to graduate a country.
The five-year preparatory period is provided for a smooth transition, recognizing the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting needs to implement policies and strategies to reverse the pandemic’s damage to the economic and social sectors, the statement elaborates.
The resolution has mandated the Committee on Development Policy, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, to analyse the adequacy of the preparatory period at its 2024 triennial review and recommend further extension if necessary.
In the last two triennial reviews conducted in 2015 and 2018, Nepal had met two of the three criteria related to the human asset index and economic vulnerability index. But Nepal was not successful in meeting the per capita income criterion.
Nepal had requested for postponement of graduation considering the impacts of the devastating 2015 earthquakes although a country becomes eligible to graduate from LDC by meeting two of the three criteria.
According to the United Nations, the gross national per capita income of a country needs to be at least $1,222 for it to be accorded developing country status. But according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal’s per capita income is $1,191 at present.
The resolution also invites Nepal and two other graduating countries to prepare smooth national transition strategies, with the support of the United Nations system and in cooperation with their bilateral, regional, and multilateral development and trading partners.