WHO ARE LDCs?
The LDCs are defined as low-income countries that are suffering from long-term handicaps to growth, in particular low levels of human resource development and/or severe structural weaknesses. In 1971, the international community recognised the existence of a category of countries whose distinctness lies in the profound poverty of their people and in the weakness of their economic, institutional and human resources, often compounded by geophysical handicaps. Currently, there are 49 countries identified as Least Developed Countries. These countries are particularly ill-equipped to develop their domestic economies which are so vulnerable to external shocks or natural disasters. Thus, the group represents the weakest segment of humanity and presents a major challenge to its development partners.
The United Nations General Assembly decides which countries are included in (or graduate from) the list of LDCs under the recommendation of ECOSOC.
In its latest triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries in 2000, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations used the following three criteria for determining the new list, as proposed by the Committee for Development Policy:
· a low-income criterion, based on a three-year average estimate of the gross domestic product per capita (under $900 for inclusion, above $1,035 for graduation);
· a human resource weakness criterion, involving a composite Augmented Physical Quality of Life Index (APQLI) based on indicators of:
nutrition; health; education; adult literacy;
· an economic vulnerability criterion, involving a composite Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) based on indicators of:
· the instability of agricultural production; the instability of exports of goods and services; the economic importance of non-traditional activities (share of manufacturing and modern services in GDP); merchandise export concentration; the handicap of economic smallness (as measured through the population in logarithm). The United Nations General Assembly decides which countries are included in (or graduate from) the list of LDCs under the recommendation of ECOSOC.
The Special Programme for the least developed countries (LDCs) will be valued for its quality and timely service aimed at integrating LDCs into the world economy through telecommunication development and its ability to positively impact the delivery of assistance to LDCs. In this effort, the BDT will work with other like-minded actors to promote partnerships and sustainable development in LDCs. The programme seeks to increase the average telephone density to 5 main lines (ML) per 100 inhabitants and the number of Internet connections to 10 users per 100 inhabitants by 2010 (year of the fourth United Nations Conference for LDCs).
This objective is based on a new strategy that was adopted at the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2002 held in Istanbul, Turkey. This strategy is supported by five well defined priority areas.
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WHO ARE LDCs?