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Tuesday, 02 December 2014

UNCTAD Launch Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report 2014

On 24th November 2014, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to launch the UNCTAD Least Developed Countries (LDC) report 2014. Ms. Barbara Lücke, Head of Unit for International Development Dialogue (DG DevCo A3) opened the conference and underlined the current context of EU-LDC cooperation, namely that the EU remains the strongest supporter, trade partner and donor to LDCs. Mr. David Woodward, Senior Advisor in the Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes, presented the flagship UNCTAD report, which is produced on an annual basis with varying themes. There are currently 48 LDCs, of which two—thirds of these are Sub-Saharan countries.

Over the next decade and a half, LDCs shall be ‘the battleground on which the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) shall be won or lost’. While there has been impressive growth, the UNCTAD report identifies the ‘LDC paradox’, whereby growth is not coupled with human development. The report notes, (i) LDCs’ failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are linked to both external issues – lack of commitment on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) from donors, outstanding debt, erosion of trade preferences, financial crisis – and internal issues, notably of structural economic problems; (ii) Moving from MDGs to SDGs requires moving from a vicious circle of under-development to a virtuous circle of structural change and productivity; (iii) Structural change is primordial as countries dependent on food, agriculture and minerals exports showed little sign of transformation; (iv) In the post-2015 context, structural transformation and human development must be inseparable. The report concludes that for LDCs to prosper, economic transformation and change in the global economic system is fundamental.

To access the full UNCTAD LDC Report 2014, click here.

To access the overview of the UNCTAD LDC Report 2014, click here.

To find out more about CTA's activities related to the report, click here and here.

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