ECOSOC Recommends Upgrading Tuvalu from LDC Status

tuvalu.flag31 July 2014: The Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) has reported that the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has recommended that Tuvalu no longer be considered a Least Developed Country (LDC). LDC status provides access to a range of resources, which Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga of Tuvalu fears losing should the country no longer be regarded as an LDC.

Countries are currently classified by per capita gross national income, human assets and economic vulnerability to external shocks. Pacific Island leaders are requesting that LDC status be based on more than these three criteria, specifically that multilateral institutions and processes take into account climate change vulnerability as well. Leaders point to the economic shocks and large socioeconomic setbacks that can result from climatic impacts.

Some of the funding sources to which Tuvalu risks losing access if it graduates from LDC status are channels for adaptation and mitigation funding, such as the LDC Fund. In addition to funding, LDC status can help countries gain a voice at the table in multilateral forums and access technical support, expertise and international networks. [PIFS Press Release]