The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) category will be 50 years old in 2021. 2021 is also the year of the next triennial review of the LDCs by the UN CDP (Committee of Development Policy). The next two years are therefore an opportunity to re-assess the rationale for, and the implementation of, the LDC category, including a possible revision of the identification criteria. This document attempts to answer three main questions: What is the purpose of the category with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What is the nature of vulnerability to be taken into account in identifying the Least Developed Countries? How to ensure an internal and inter-temporal consistency of the category? The technical choices for measuring the indicators used as criteria should be examined accordingly.
Note prepared for the Expert Group Meeting on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) issues Geneva, 23-26 October 2018, organized by the United Nations’ Committee for Development Policy, and revised followingly.