Previous Triennial Reviews and Graduation Decisions

2021 Triennial Review 

At its triennial review in February 2021, the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) recommended that Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Nepal be graduated from the LDC category. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, it considered an extended preparatory period of five years as necessary.

The CDP also reiterated its recommendations to graduate Kiribati and Tuvalu from the category. Given the limited planning capacities and the necessity of both countries to incorporate impacts of COVID-19, the Committee considered an extended preparatory period of five years as necessary for a smooth transition.

In relation to Myanmar and Timor-Leste, the CDP decided to defer consideration of their graduation to 2024.

Five countries met the thresholds for the first time (Cambodia, Comoros, Djibouti, Senegal and Zambia) and will be considered at the next triennial review in 2024 for graduation, if they still meet the thresholds a second time.

The 2021 CDP Report is available.

In its resolution 2021/11, ECOSOC endorsed the recommendation of the CDP on the graduation of Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Nepal after an extended five-year preparatory period as those countries would need to prepare for graduation while planning for a post-COVID-19 recovery and implementing policies and strategies to reverse the economic and social damage incurred by the COVID-19 shock.

ECOSOC also noted that, should the General Assembly decide on a five-year preparatory period, the Committee would analyse at its 2024 triennial review whether this period has been adequate to manage the effects of COVID-19 and make any recommendation, including on whether a further extension would be necessary.

As for Kiribati and Tuvalu, ECOSOC recognized the unprecedented socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic and decided to defer the consideration of their graduation to 2024.

In resolution 75/259 of 11 February 2021, the General Assembly decided to provide Angola, on an exceptional basis, with an additional preparatory period of three years before its effective date of graduation.  

On 24 November 2021, the UN General Assembly (A/RES/76/8) decided that Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Nepal be graduated, and decided to provide the three LDCs, on an exceptional basis, with a five-year preparatory period leading to graduation.


2018 Triennial Review 

At its triennial review in March 2018, the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) declared Bhutan, São Tomé and Príncipe and Solomon Islands eligible for graduation for the second consecutive time. They were therefore recommended to ECOSOC for graduation from the list of LDCs. 

On 13 December 2018, the UN General Assembly (A/RES/73/133) decided the following:  

  • Bhutan will graduate in December 2023, after a five-year preparatory period; 

  • Solomon Islands will graduate in December 2024, after a six-year preparatory period; 

  • São Tomé and Príncipe will graduate in December 2024, after a six-year preparatory period. 


Nepal and Timor-Leste were found eligible for the second consecutive time, but were not recommended by CDP for graduation, due to concerns about the sustainability of their development progress. The Committee decided to defer a decision on the graduation of Nepal and Timor-Leste at the 2021 triennial review.  

Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar were found eligible for graduation by CDP for the first time at the 2018 triennial review. 

Furthermore, CDP found Kiribati to be eligible for graduation for the third consecutive time. ECOSOC decided to defer the consideration of the graduation of Kiribati and Tuvalu to its 2021 session due to their special vulnerabilities. 

For further information on the 2018 triennial review, see the 2018 CDP Report

Equatorial Guinea graduated from the category the LDC category on 4 June 2017, following a transition period of three and a half years after the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of resolution A/RES/68/18.  


2015 Triennial Review 

At the 2015 triennial review, Angola met the criteria for graduation for the second consecutive time. The Committee recommended Angola for graduation from the LDC category. ECOSOC endorsed that recommendation (E/RES/2015/11) and the General Assembly (A/RES/70/253) decided that Angola would graduate out of the LDC category after a five-year period in February 2021. 

The Committee also noted that Kiribati met both the Income and Human Asset Index criteria for the second consecutive time. However, the Committee did not recommend Kiribati for graduation due to its extreme high vulnerability and decided to defer consideration to its 2018 session. As measured by the Economic Vulnerability Index, Kiribati is the most vulnerable country in the world.  

Additionally, five countries met the eligibility criteria for graduation for the first time: Bhutan, São Tomé and Príncipe , Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Nepal. 

Regarding Tuvalu, which had been recommended for graduation in 2012, the Committee noted its high vulnerability and requested to the international community to provide Tuvalu with adequate technical assistance and concessional financing to address climate change. ECOSOC decided to defer the consideration of Tuvalu's graduation to 2018 to allow the Council “to have an opportunity for further consideration of the particular challenges that Tuvalu faces”.  

Vanuatu, which had been found eligible for graduation in 2006, 2009 and 2012, was recommended for graduation in the 2012 triennial review. The General Assembly (A/RES/68/18) decided to grant an additional preparatory period of one year before the start of the three-year preparatory process and invited the country to prepare its national smooth-transition strategy, with the support of the United Nations system and in cooperation with its bilateral and multilateral development and trading partners.  

For further information on the 2015 triennial review, see the 2015 CDP Report