Nepal has met the criteria to graduate to the status of developing country with mid-level income from the category of Least Developed Country (LDC).

In this connection, preparation is being made to get the final proposal endorsed from the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has principally given a consent to present the proposal in the upcoming UNGA meeting for endorsement.

The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP), in its triennial review held from 22 to 26 February 2021, has also made this recommendation as Nepal had met the criteria for graduation for three consecutive reviews.

Out of three indices which the CDP considers while deciding on the question of graduation – Gross National Income per capita, Human Assets Index (HAI), and Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI), Nepal met the thresholds for the latter two, thus being eligible for graduation.

The UNGA meeting is taking place in September this year.

Chief of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York, Amrit Rai said a meeting of the UN’s ECOSOC held recently in New York also recommended Nepal being eligible to graduate to the country of mid-level income from the present status of low income and is presenting the proposal for endorsement in the upcoming UNGA meeting.

“Out of three stipulated criteria for graduation we had fulfilled two in 2015 and 2018 which paved our way for graduation”, permanent representative Rai told Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS).

“Earlier, we had asked to put on hold the proposal for graduation citing the devastating earthquake at the moment. Now, it is entering into the phase of endorsement,” he clarified.

Though Nepal had met the graduation criteria for the first time in 2015, the CDP in its 2018 triennial review recommended to defer the graduation on the request of the Government of Nepal considering the setback on Nepal’s economy by the 2015 earthquake and other disasters in the following years.

Due to the extraordinary challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and based on the request of the Government of Nepal, the normal preparatory period of three years was extended to five.

Upon endorsement by the UNGA, Nepal will continue to have access to all LDC-specific support measures until 2026.

The preparatory period of five years is given to provide adequate time for a smooth transition during which Nepal would be enabling itself to offset the loss of support measures exclusive to the LDCs.

In addition to Nepal, Bangladesh and Lao People’s Democratic Republic have also been recommended for graduation by the CDP.

(News prepared with input from RSS)