Bangladesh has termed it a historic day as it attained all three criteria for graduation from the least-developed country (LDC) group to developing one. “It’s a historic day for us. I am delighted to inform you that Bangladesh has fulfilled the criteria for graduation from the LDC category for the first time,” said Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen. Roland Mollerus, Chief of Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), handed over Ambassador Masud Bin Momen an official letter conveying this announcement at a simple event organised at the Bangabandhu Auditorium of Bangladesh Mission on Friday.
The UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) determines the graduation of a least developed country from the LDC category on the basis of its meeting at least two of the three criteria which are Per Capita GNI, Human Asset Index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI). Bangladesh could meet all the three criteria in this year’s review by the CDP. Its per capita GNI is USD 1610 whereas the threshold set by CDP for this year was USD 1230. The HAI of Bangladesh is 72.9 whereas the threshold was 66. The EVI of Bangladesh is 24.8 whereas the threshold was 32.
The United Nations Committee for Development Policy, on completion of its review of the LDC category, announced that Bangladesh has met the graduation criteria for the first time. Mentioning that from the war-ravaged country to today’s graduation has been a bumpy ride, Ambassador Masud said it has been possible due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Under her leadership, Bangladesh adopted bold and forward-looking development strategies which yielded rapid but inclusive economic growth, structural transformation and remarkable social progress”. The permanent representative stated, “Graduation of half of the LDCs by 2020 is one of the major objectives of the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs and it is also imperative for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda as well as for long lasting peace and prosperity”.
Under Secretary-General and High Representative, United Nations Office of the High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Chair of CDP Expert Group, Professor Jose Antonio Ocampo Gaviria, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu, Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific of UNDP Haoliang Xu, and Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office Dr Selim Jahan, joined this event and addressed the audience.
Some LDC delegates and colleagues from different UN Agencies also attended the event. The Consul General of Bangladesh in New York and the Bangladeshis working at the UN Headquarters were also present. The event started with the screening of a short documentary on Bangladesh’s development trajectory. The permanent representative informed the audience that Bangladesh has set a goal to establish itself as a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous country by 2041.
In this connection he said, “It was our long-cherished aspiration that we would take our country to a new height of development. Bangladesh’s GDP has been growing at 7.28% now. We have aligned our national development plans with the SDGs. We are also committed to implement the SDGs. Our graduation aspiration has coincided with all these visions”. Ambassador Masud also mentioned that this graduation process of LDCs bears the hallmark of the collective success of the UN and the international community.
He acknowledged the excellent cooperation that Bangladesh received from its development partners, including the UN system, in support of its national endeavours. Among the speakers, following the handover of the CDP’s decision to the PR, the CDP Chief Mollerus remarked that the impressive successes of Bangladesh in GNI, HAI and EVI made the work of CDP easier while reviewing Bangladesh’s status. He acknowledged that the robust development policies of the Government of Bangladesh had driven this progress.
Chair of CDP Expert Group, Professor Ocampo, told that Bangladesh has an impressive history of success. He added that it has a very dynamic export sector, human asset and significant improvement in education and health sectors. USG and High Representative Utoikamanu mentioned that solid foundations have been built in Bangladesh to reduce poverty and advance development. All the dignitaries congratulated Bangladesh on its meeting the graduation criteria from the LDC category and spoke very high of its remarkable strides in accelerating inclusive social and economic development. They also praised visionary leadership and consistent good performance.
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