4 December 2020. On 4 December, Vanuatu became the sixth country to graduate from the least developed country (LDC) category. As noted by the United Nations Secretary-General, this is “testimony to years of effort resulting in hard-won sustainable development gains”. The government of Vanuatu has prepared a smooth transition strategy which will help navigate the next steps in its development path.
Vanuatu should be applauded for embracing graduation despite setbacks due to climate change and disasters and most recently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Vanuatu was recommended for graduation from the LDC category by the CDP at the 2012 triennial review, having met the graduation thresholds for the Human Assets Index (HAI) and income (GNI per capita) in 2006, 2009 and 2012. The CDP recommendation was approved by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2012 and by the UN General Assembly in 2013. Following cyclone Pam in 2015 a three-year extension was granted by the UN General Assembly, with graduation postponed to 4 December 2020.