Rise and Ad­vance

Southasia - - Briefing - BHUTAN

The Mal­dives is one amongst the only three coun­tries to ever ad­vance from the United Nation’s ‘least de­vel­oped coun­try’ (LDC) bracket, ac­cord­ing to a lat­est UN re­port.

The re­port, which re­viewed the de­vel­op­ment of the world’s 51 poor­est coun­tries, said only the Mal­dives (2010), Cape Verde (2007) and Botswana (1994) have ever grad­u­ated from the LDCs list. UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon ex­pressed his con­cerns on the find­ings and said marginal­iza­tion of the world’s 48 poor­est coun­tries points to a fu­ture that we can­not af­ford.

“The struc­tural dis­ad­van­tage of these economies, weak hu­man as­sets (ed­u­ca­tion, health, nu­tri­tion, etc.), lim­ited phys­i­cal and in­sti­tu­tional in­fra­struc­ture, de­pen­dence on frag­ile agri­cul­tural sec­tors and a lim­ited range of ex­ports, are at the heart of the con­tin­ued marginal­iza­tion of these coun­tries within the world econ­omy,” the re­port stated.

Econ­o­mists fear that the Mal­dives’ pro­gres­sion to the mid­dle in­come cat­e­gory lim­its the coun­try’s ac­cess to con­ces­sional credit, re­moves cer­tain trade con­ces­sions and donor aid. It also risks cre­at­ing a per­cep­tion in the donor com­mu­nity that it is less de­serv­ing than coun­tries still on the LDC list.

While the Mal­dives gov­ern­ment has pre­vi­ously in­sisted it has bud­geted for the grad­u­a­tion, the Mal­dives mis­sion to the United Na­tions also raised the is­sue at the UN in New York in March this year. Held in part­ner­ship with the UN Of­fice of the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Least De­vel­oped, Land­locked and Small Is­land Coun­tries (OHRLLS), the rep­re­sen­ta­tives said that grad­u­at­ing coun­tries like the Mal­dives still re­quire spe­cial fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance.

The UN may con­sider the is­sue ahead of an an­nual con­fer­ence on the world’s least-de­vel­oped coun­tries in Is­tan­bul later this month.

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