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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, on Sunday joins the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal to deliver a joint statement on the Sustainable and Smooth Transition for Graduating Cohort 2021, at a conference taking place in Doha.

Laos prepares for smooth transition from LDC status

Doha, Qatar: The Lao government is preparing a strategy for smooth transition from Least Developed Country (LDC) status to that of a developing nation in 2026 and beyond. 
Speaking at a meeting on the sidelines of the LDC5 conference on March 5 to discuss the sustainable and smooth transition of the graduating cohort of Bangladesh, Laos and Nepal to developing nation status, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, reiterated the political commitment of Laos to leave the United Nations’ list of least developed countries in 2026.
“To this end, effective preparation for smooth transition is a must to ensure that graduating countries do not slide back to LDC status or worse,” he said, during a meeting with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, and the Executive Secretary of ESCAP.  The representatives of the three countries met to deliver a joint statement on Sustainable and Smooth Transition for the Graduating Cohort, in which they declared their commitment and strategy development to rising above LDC status alongside requesting international aid for capacity building, low interest loans, technology transfer, and access to global markets.
Mr Saleumxay, who is leading a high-level Lao delegation attending the LDC5 conference and related events from March 4 to 9, said Laos had done a great job in achieving three UN criteria and requirement and was on track to graduate in 2020. However, the protracted Covid-19 pandemic and global upheaval derailed this progress and the country was approved by the UN to extend its LDC graduation timeframe to 2026.
Mr Saleumxay said Laos was strongly committed to the graduation process but, given the current economic difficulties, the country needs further multiple-sector support from the international community and development partners and relevant stakeholders.
“Taking this opportunity, we call for continued partnership, cooperation and international support during graduation, transition and beyond graduation, including support to promote export diversification, provision of easy and flexible access to climate mitigation and adaptation finance on a concessional basis, technology transfer and continued Official Development Assistance to meet financing gaps, among others,” he said. According to information from the Lao delegation, the Lao government has integrated its LDC graduation into the five-year national development plan for 2021-2025.
The government is also actively working with the United Nations and other development partners and stakeholders to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are among the key indicators for LDC graduation.
While in Doha, Mr Saleumxay is also meeting with the heads of foreign delegations, representatives of UN agencies and other development partners, including the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, to discuss bilateral cooperation.
He also met with the Venezuelan and Türkiye foreign ministers, a special representative from Denmark, UK Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Under-Secretary-General of ESCAP, and the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
 (Latest Update March 7, 2023)


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