Various UN entities provide specific support to the graduation processes of LDCs, in the form of training, workshops, studies and support for the development of smooth transition strategies (see the guidance note on smooth transition strategies here). The UN also provides background information and tailored analysis on graduation, disseminated through the Gradjet website.
Among measures by UN entities and related organizations to support countries to ensure a smooth transition:
- United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation (chaired by the Director of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States – OHRLLS) brings together UN agencies and other international and regional organizations to jointly support countries through a smooth transition process.
- The Committee for Development Policy has promoted the adoption of smooth transition measures, as well as improved assistance for graduated and graduating least developed countries.
- The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the Technology Bank for LDCs, the Investment Support Programme for LDCs and UNCDF, among others, have “smooth transition” provisions which enable them to continue to support countries for a number of years after graduation.
- For countries approaching graduation, the UN Department of Economic Affairs conducts ex ante assessments of the impacts of graduation and UNCTAD produces vulnerability profiles.
- UNDESA, UNCTAD, UNESCAP and other UN entities are engaged in a number of capacity-building projects to prepare governments for graduation [Information forthcoming – see for example Project on new assistance measures for Asian LDCs approaching graduation]
Joint UN workshops on graduation:
- Joint UN Workshop in Support of São Tomé e Príncipe’s Graduation from the LDC Category, São Tomé, 12 – 13 September 2019
- Joint UN Workshop in Support of Solomon Islands’ Graduation from the LDC Category, Honiara, 17 – 18 October 2019
- WTO/UNESCAP Regional Workshop on Graduation for LDCs in Asia, 30 April to 2 May 2019
Support for smooth transition is based on resolutions by the General Assembly and by the Istanbul Programme of Action:
- General Assembly resolution 59/209 of 20 December 2004 states that graduating countries can request the assistance of the UN system to prepare a transition strategy to adjust to the eventual phasing out of LDC-specific international support measures (paragraph 4). The resolution also requests the UNDP Administrator to provide the support of the UN Resident Coordinator and of the UN Country Team to the consultative mechanism – a task force composed of country’s relevant development and trading partners — facilitating the preparation of the transition strategy (paragraph 6). It further requests the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) to monitor the development progress of the graduated country as a complement to its triennial review of the list of LDCs and to report thereon to the Economic and Social Council.
- Subsequently, the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 adopted by the IV UN Conference on the LDCs (Istanbul, 9-13 May 2011) envisaged the creation of an ad-hoc working group to further study and strengthen the smooth transition process. The report of the working group was considered at the 67th session of the General Assembly during the fall of 2012.
- On 21 December 2012, the General Assembly adopted the resolution on smooth transition for countries graduating from the list of LDCs . The resolution endorses several of the recommendations put forward by the ad-hoc working group and clarifies several aspects of the smooth transition process including the required actions by graduating countries and their development and trading partners and the nature of support extended by the UN during this process. It also provides guidelines on the phasing out of some LDC-specific international support measures.