Joint UN Workshop in Support of São Tomé e Príncipe’s Graduation

Thursday, 12 September 2019 - 9:00am to Friday, 13 September 2019 - 5:00pm


This was the first mission of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation (IATF) and was led by OHRLLS and DESA in close cooperation with the UN Resident Coordinator and the Country Team in São Tomé e Príncipe. The WTO, ITC, EIF and Technology Bank participated in the mission.

Established in late 2017, the United Nations Task Force on LDC Graduation is chaired by the Director of OHRLLS, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox.It is a group of UN entities, which convene twice a year or more often as needed, with the goal to provide strengthened and coordinated UN system-wide support to the countries graduating from the LDC category.

The Joint UN Workshop in support of the graduation of São Tomé e Príncipe from the category of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was held in the Palace of Congresses in São Tomé on 12 and 13 September 2019. It was co-organized by the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation in close collaboration with the Government of São Tomé e Príncipe, the UN Resident Coordinator and sponsored by the Government of Portugal.



The Prime Minister of São Tomé e Príncipe opened the Workshop. Several Ministers actively participated as panelists and engaged in the interactive discussions on the impacts of LDC graduation on the economic and social progress of the country. Representatives from over 20 UN agencies and other international and regional organizations attended and contributed. A total of over 100 participants attended the two-day workshop with the majority coming from government ministries, as well as civil society and private sector.

Experts presentations were made by members of the IATF to show the implications of graduation from the LDC category. Some LDC-specific support measures will be phased out, but the impact is expected to be overall relatively mild. On development finance, most of bilateral and multilateral donors have cooperation programs that would not be affected by graduation from the LDC category per se. Discussions also focused on the current economic and social challenges as well as environmental vulnerabilities facing São Tomé e Príncipe. The government requested the UN System to continue supporting the sustainable development efforts of the country and the IATF to assist in the formulation of a smooth transition strategy.



Background Materials 



Opening Session:


Session 1: Graduation From the LDC Category: Process and Implications for São Tomé E Príncipe:


Session 2: LDC Graduation and Smooth Transition: Access to Finance and Mobilization of Resources


Session 3: LDC Graduation and Smooth Transition: Impacts on Trade, Productive Capacity Building and Economic Diversification


Session 4: Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Resilience Towards Sustainable Development


Session 5: Conclusion and Way Forward

Photo: Children in São Tomé e Príncipe. Miss Helena / Flickr