Monday 6 March 2023, 17:15 -18:45 (Doha Time)
Auditorium 2, Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha.
Objective of the session: Discussion of the initial rationale for the category, its evolution over half a century, and its relevance today, and presentation of an assessment of the effectiveness of the LDC status (in particular aid and trade measures).
The category of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was created in 1971 by a decision of the United Nations General Assembly and led to the first identification of 25 LDCs by the Committee for Development Planning, which became the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) in 1998. The 1971 decision was taken after several years of discussion within the United Nations on the opportunity of formally recognizing a group of "least developed" countries as developing countries that would benefit from special support measures from the international community.
50 years after its creation, it is legitimate to question the validity of the category and its foundations, and to analyse what has been the impact of this unique attempt to differentiate countries at the global level on the economic treatment of developing countries.
After a discussion of the initial rationale for the category, its evolution over half a century, and its relevance today, the seminar presented an assessment of the effectiveness of the LDC status (in particular aid and trade measures) over the past 50 years to support the least developed countries and help them to move out of the poverty trap. It drew on the complementary work of many experts, including contributors to the book "Out of the trap - Supporting the least developed countries" which aims to disentangle the results of special international support and the effects of the structural handicaps faced by LDCs.
The speakers, experts and representatives of states or international institutions, discussed the results in order to draw lessons for the future of the category and the future of cooperation with these countries.
Rabab Fatima, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)
Patrick Guillaumont, President of Ferdi
Logic and relevance of the category: How does your institution perceive the category today?
Christophe Guilhou, Director of sustainable development, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs ⅼ Robert Powell, IMF's Special Representative to the United Nations ⅼ United Nations - Committee for Development Policy (CDP)
What impact and lessons from 50 years of support to the category?
Main results of research: short presentation by Ferdi senior researchers. Comments : Jean-Louis Arcand, President of the Global Development Network (GDN) ⅼ Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Director of the OECD Development Centre ⅼ Rolf Traeger, Head of LDC Section, UNCTAD ⅼ WTO
Created in 2003, FERDI is a think tank whose primary mission is to use research to influence the international debate on key development issues. Independent and non-profit, FERDI mobilises high-level experts in the field of international development and offers thinking on key issues in development economics and development policies.