LDC Graduation: The Way Towards MDG Acceleration, Sustainable Development and Structural Transformation Friday, 27 September 2013

The Fourth UN Conference on the LDCs, held in Istanbul in May 2011, agreed on the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), which has set the ambitious goal of bringing half of the LDCs close to the point of graduation by 2020.

The adoption of this graduation goal is a watershed event in the history of the UN in the field of development. This is the first time that an entire group has resolved to exit from a category defined by poverty and vulnerability. Reaching this ambitious goal will entail structural socio‐economic transformations in countries that have been largely left behind in the implementation of the MDGs. Graduation represents the achievement of a major milestone for LDCs’ development, including significant progress towards the fulfilment of development goals in respect of per capita income, human assets and economic vulnerability (the graduation criteria are herewith enclosed in annex 3). Each instance of successful graduation will constitute an extraordinary success for the international community. How effective the LDCs’ efforts and the support by the international community will be in the coming years to accomplish this important aspiration is a litmus test for all.

In order to realize the overarching goal of the Istanbul Programme of Action to ensure that at least half of the countries in the category meet the criteria for graduation by 2020, the Governments of Turkey and Belgium, with the collaboration of OHRLLS, organized a meeting to to showcase countries who have set for themselves such ambitious goal and provide an opportunity for the Ministers from development partners and the Ministers from LDCs to engage in an interactive discussion highlighting the LDCs’ graduating strategies and garner wide ranging support from the development partners with a view to sustain their efforts towards the full and timely implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action by 2020.