Foreign Affairs

Laos, UN discuss preparations for LDC graduation assessment

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held on Sep 8 a video conference with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States to discuss preparations for the assessment of the Lao PDR’s possible graduation from the least developed country status.

Chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongphane Savanpheth, the meeting saw the participation of more than 30 representatives from the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Industry and Commerce, Health, Education and Sports, and Agriculture and Forestry.

The category of least developed countries was established by the United Nations in 1971 and currently has 47 countries including the Lao PDR.

The 2018 assessment by UN suggested that the Lao PDR has fulfilled for the first time two of three LDC graduation thresholds of the United Nations.

The assessment suggested that Laos has recorded a per capita gross national income – GNI – at US$1,996 (minimum threshold – US$1,230/person), and a Human Asset Index (HAI) at 77.2 (min threshold – 66).

The country only failed the economic vulnerability index (EVI) as it was placed at 33.7. Meanwhile the threshold required by the United Nations is 32 or lower.

In case the second assessment by the United Nations, to be conducted in 2021, suggests that the Lao PDR has continued to be able to achieve two of three thresholds or all the three thresholds, it will be nominated for graduation from the UN’s list of least developed countries in 2024.

Yesterday’s meeting constituted an important opportunity for discussing preparations and identifying challenges, in case the Lao PDR fulfills LDC graduation criteria and devise cooperation plan with the UN, especially a transition and post graduation strategies, which will be used to mobilize assistance from regional and international development partners to ensure smooth and sustainable graduation of the Lao PDR from the LDC status.

Source: Lao News Agency