‘Govt attaches highest priority to sustainable LDC graduation’

The Government attaches highest level of priority to ensuring smooth and sustainable LDC graduation from Bangladesh with momentum in its plans and executing such plans accordingly, said Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaushas on Wednesday.  

“To this end, we have established an effective platform to support Sustainable Graduation taking all the relevant stakeholders on board”—he said.

He was speaking as a chief guest of a virtual meeting on ‘Graduation of Bangladesh from the least developed country (LDC) category and smooth transition towards sustainable development’.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Government of Bangladesh, The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) jointly organized the meeting. 

The meeting reviewed the priorities of Bangladesh in preparing for graduation from the LDC category, smooth transition and the most important international support measures (ISMs)—including both traditional and new forms of support—needed from the international community.

Principal Coordinator (SDGs Affairs) of Prime Minister’s Office Ms. Zuena Aziz, Director of OHRLLS and Chair of the UN Inter Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, and UN CDP Member and Chair for Sub-Group on LDCs Mr. TaffereTesfachew spoke during the inaugural session the event.  

Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah chaired the event, while CDP Secretary Roland Mollerus joined him as the co-chair.

High officials from government’s Ministries and Divisions, UN Systems, development and trading partners, and private sector participated in the meeting.

It is notable that Bangladesh has been recommended for graduation from the LDC status during the latest triennial review of CDP in February, 2021. Recognising the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, CDP has also recommended an extended, five-year long preparatory period from 2021 to 2026 as well as enhanced monitoring, analysis, and transition support.

During the preparatory period, Bangladesh will prepare a smooth transition strategy (STS) in cooperation with development and trading partners and with targeted assistance from the United Nations system, especially members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on LDC Graduation Support.

The STS is expected to provide the basis for a successful transition, ensuring that LDC-specific ISMs are phased out in a way that does not disrupt the country’s development progress. The Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance will coordinate the process of preparing the STS by involving all the stakeholders.   

The virtual meeting was comprised of two business sessions. The first session was on ‘Preparing for Graduation and Smooth Transition and Support’. Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh addressed this session highlighting the challenges of LDC graduation and way forward while ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin delivered a presentation on ‘Planned Strategy for Smooth Graduation’.

This session also featured a presentation on ‘Preparing for Graduation and Smooth Transition – what next after CDP recommendation’ from Matthias Bruckner from CDP Secretariat while Mereseini Bower from the same entity delivered a presentation on ‘New Sustainable Graduation Support Facility’.

The second business session was themed on ‘Results of a Survey on Assistance Measures for LDC graduation in Bangladesh’. During this session, Member of UN CDP Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya spoke on the ‘CDP’s Contribution to the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs and Global Support Measures’.