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UN DESA | DPAD | Development Policy Analysis Division

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LDC Information: Graduation and Transition Process

Eligibility for graduation

  • A country must meet two out of the three graduation criteria for GNI per capita, HAI and EVI.
  • Alternatively, GNI per capita is at least twice the graduation threshold levels.
  • Thresholds for graduation have been established at a higher level than those for inclusion.

Procedure for graduation decision

  • Eligibility for graduation has to be met at two consecutive triennial reviews
  • After an LDC has been found eligible for graduation for the first time, DESA prepares an ex-ante impact assessment, and UNCTAD prepares a vulnerability profile of that country as inputs to the CDP’s decision making process.
  • The country is invited to present its views on the possibility of graduation at the CDP expert group meeting on the review of the list of LDCs in the year prior to the next triennial review.
  • CDP may recommend the country for graduation on the basis of the triennial review and the additional information provided by the country, DESA and UNCTAD.
  • ECOSOC may endorse the recommendation by the CDP.
  • General Assembly may take note of the decision of ECOSOC, at the first session of the General Assembly following the adoption of such decision by the Council.
  • Graduation takes effect three years after the decision by the General Assembly.

Smooth transition

  • Graduation takes place three years after the General Assembly takes note of the graduation recommendation.
  • During this three-year period, country prepares itself for the transition from the list of LDCs, including by developing a smooth transition strategy.
  • Various smooth transition preparation steps can be found in A/RES/67/221.
  • After the three-year period, developing partners are invited  to extend for a limited time or to gradually phase-out the benefits available to LDCs  

Graduated Countries


Date of inclusion on the LDC list: 1971

Date of graduation: 19 December 1994

Cape Verde

Date of inclusion on the LDC list: 1977

Date of graduation: 20 December 2007


Date of inclusion on the LDC list: 1971

Date of graduation: 1 January 2011


Date of inclusion on the LDC list: 1971

Date of graduation: 1 January 2014