International support measures for least developed countries

International support measures (ISMs) for least developed countries

The least developed country (LDC) category was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1971. There are currently 46 LDCs, some of which are set to leave (“graduate from”) the category soon. International support measures (ISMs) have been put in place for LDCs in the areas of tradefinancial and technical assistance; and support for participation in international forums. As more countries approach graduation, there has been increasing emphasis in securing support for a smooth transition out of the category. This portal contains information on these international support measures, as well as a repository of documents on LDCs, news and information on events on LDCs and information on organizations supporting LDCs.

The international community has committed to supporting the goal of integrating the LDCs into the multilateral trading system and increasing their participation in world markets. SDGs 10.a, 17.11 and 17.12 reflect this commitment. 

Multilateral and bilateral development partners support LDCs through a range of financial and technical assistance mechanisms.

Measures are in place to support the participation of  LDCs in United Nations processes and other international forums by reducing the costs involved, building capacity or creating opportunities for engagement as a category.

When countries reach a certain level of development, they leave ("graduate from") the LDC category.  The graduation process takes several years, which enables countries to prepare for a "smooth transition".