UN DESA | DPAD | Development Policy Analysis Division

CDP Background Paper Series

The CDP Background Papers are preliminary documents circulated in a limited number of copies and posted on this website, to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the issues dealt with by the Committee for Development Policy.

Readers are invited to submit their comments directly to the authors. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Secretariat. The designations and terminology employed may not conform to United Nations practice and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Organization.

CDP Background Papers prior to 2010 can be found in the archive.

2014

The likelihood of 24 Least Developed Countries graduating from the LDC category by 2020: an achievable goal?

  • Hiroshi Kawamura
    ST/ESA/2014/CDP/20
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  • Abstract: This paper examines the prospects of achieving a main goal of the Istanbul Programme of Action—at least half of the LDCs to meet the graduation criteria by 2020. Based on two different sets of graduation criteria established by the CDP and current trends in socio-economic indicators of LDCs, the paper concludes that the goal is unlikely to be met even under an optimistic scenario. There are considerable uncertainties about the possible outcome, partly owing to the way in which the graduation criteria are established and partly owing to the difficulty of predicting future course of socio-economic development of LDCs.

Global trade rules for supporting development in the post-2015 era

  • Ana Luiza Cortez and Mehmet Arda
    ST/ESA/2014/CDP/19
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  • Abstract: Multilateral trade rules have maintained stable and predictable trade flows. Developing countries increased their participation in world markets but marked asymmetries persist; not all countries are benefitting from trade. Successive trade rounds and numerous regional trade and bilateral investment agreements led to significant loss of policy space and fragmentation. Special and differential treatment has not provided necessary flexibility for implementation of development policies while the principle of less than full reciprocity is eroded. Stronger multilateralism, effective overseeing and enforcing role by WTO and greater focus by developing countries in negotiating flexible rules (instead of exceptions to the rules) are suggested.

Trade Benefits for Least Developed Countries: the Bangladesh Case Market Access Initiatives, Limitations and Policy Recommendations

  • Mustafizur Rahman
    ST/ESA/2014/CDP/18
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  • Abstract: Global evidence suggests that trade-related performance is becoming increasingly important for the socio-economic development of many developing countries. The paper finds that trade preferences accorded to Bangladesh as an LDC have played a crucial role in recent accelerated development of her economy and her significant achievements in trade and social sectors. The paper highlights the concerns that emanate from the trade preferences and proposes ways to make these more effective and beneficial for the LDCs. It concludes that Bangladesh will need to build the needed supply-side capacities and undertake necessary reforms to realize the potential opportunities provided by preferential market access.

2013

Effectively addressing the vulnerabilities and development needs of small island developing States

  • Matthias Bruckner
    ST/ESA/2013/CDP/17
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  • Abstract: International support to the sustainable development of SIDS has been on the international policy agenda for a long time, whereas challenges are intensifying. Stabilizing global economic and financial markets and international measures to reduce climate changes are indispensable to reduce vulnerabilities of SIDS, as is scaling-up of existing support measures at the national level in areas such as climate change adaptation. This paper also performs cluster and other statistical analyses of SIDS vulnerabilities to explore new approaches to SIDS support. The heterogeneity among SIDS is substantial even if only sub-groups of SIDS are considered. Therefore, a differentiated approach has merits, as uniform support would neither be effective nor efficient.

Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development

  • Keun Lee and John Mathews
    ST/ESA/2013/CDP/16
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  • Abstract: The paper argues that science, technology and innovation (STI) play a critical role in expediting transition to a sustainable mode of development. Latecomer nations suffer from several disadvantages as they attempt to catch-up with the technological leaders, but they can enjoy latecomer advantages, if appropriate strategies are formulated and executed. One of the key concepts is leapfrogging, whereby the latecomers absorb what the technological leaders have to offer and leap to a new environment-friendly techno-economic paradigm. To facilitate such leap, the current intellectual-property-rights regimes need to evolve to one that fosters technology diffusion and greater use of intellectual property.

2012

Climate change vulnerability and the identification of least developed countries

  • Matthias Bruckner
  • ST/ESA/2012/CDP/15
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  • Abstract: This paper reviews the role of climate change vulnerability in identifying least developed countries (LDCs). Taking a sustainable development perspective, it argues that climate change should be seen as an aggravating factor of existing handicaps and many indicators used to identify LDCs already capture relevant structural vulnerabilities to climate change. However, the paper proposes some refinements in the LDC criteria to better capture vulnerabilities from natural disasters and in coastal areas. These refinements affected the vulnerability ranking in the recent triennial review, but had no impact the eligibility of countries for inclusion in and graduation from the LDC category.

Strengthening smooth transition from the least developed country category

  • ST/ESA/2012/CDP/14
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  • Abstract: This report makes some preliminary suggestions for actions to be taken by the international development community and the graduating countries to strengthen the process of preparing for graduation from the least developed country (LDC) category. The report also offers concrete proposals for addressing in a systematic manner, the current concerns among LDCs about the ad-hoc nature of the extension and phasing out of measures provided by certain development and trading partners.

Conflict and the identification of the Least Developed Countries: Theoretical and statistical considerations

  • Ana Luiza Cortez and Namsuk Kim
    ST/ESA/2012/CDP/13
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  • Abstract: This paper reviews conflict as one of potential factors that could be incorporated in the identification of least developed countries (LDCs). It is not clear whether conflict can be considered as a structurally predetermined handicap as those identified in LDC criteria. More importantly, even if countries may be caught in a conflict trap, adding conflict indicators to the LDC criteria does not provide additional insights to enhance our understanding of the category . And adding conflict indicators is unlikely to introduce changes in country classification. Many of the factors associated with conflict are already incorporated in the indicators used to identify LDCs, and, therefore, the inclusion of an explicit conflict indicator - to capture the risk of falling into conflict given conflict in the past - in the LDC criteria would not affect the composition list of LDCs.

2011

The concept of structural economic vulnerability
and its relevance for the identification of the
Least Developed Countries and other purposes
(Nature, measurement, and evolution)

  • Patrick Guillaumont
    ST/ESA/2011/CDP/12
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  • Abstract: This paper was prepared by Professor Patrick Guillaumont, as a contribution to the expert group meeting of the Committee for Development Policy on climate change, conflict and other issues related to the review of the criteria for the identification of least developed countries (LDCs) which took place in New York, 2-3 February 2011. Structural economic vulnerability is a major obstacle for the development of LDCs. The paper discusses the conceptual, methodological and empirical issues related to the economic vulnerability index (EVI) developed and used by the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) in the identification of LDCs. The note also addresses the relation between physical and economic vulnerability to climate change as well as the role of the EVI in allocating official development aid and as tool for development research.

International Migration and Development:
A review in light of the crisis

  • José Antonio Alonso
    ST/ESA/2011/CDP/11
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  • Abstract: Increasing international migratory flows in the last four decades is one of the most visible manifestations of the globalization process In spite of its potential positive effect on global efficiency and well-being, little progress has been made in designing and promoting a normative and institutional framework to allow a better global governance of international migration. The current crisis has added new concerns in relation to migrant situation particularly in the countries more affected by the recession. It is likely that migratory pressures continue beyond the crisis, as international asymmetries that promote international migration have not been overcome.