Report of Committee for Development Policy Reviews Indicators of LDCs

May 2011: The report of the 13th session of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), which took place from 21-25 March 2011, has just been released. The report reviews the Committee's consideration of the following themes: education for all, issues related to the Least Developed Countries (including monitoring of the development progress of Equatorial Guinea and Samoa), and migration and development. 

In preparation for the triennial review of the list of least developed countries (LDCs), which will be undertaken in 2012, the Committee reviewed the criteria and indicators used to identify such countries. The Committee defined LDCs as low-income countries suffering from the most severe structural impediments to sustainable development. In this regard, economic, social and environmental elements all were noted to be relevant, but the Committee found that while the social dimension has already been incorporated into the human assets index to a large extent, the environmental component has not been taken into account sufficiently.

The Committee proposed further refinements to the indicators, in particular to better reflect the structural vulnerability of countries to climate change. Climate-related extreme events are addressed by the economic vulnerability index, but Committee members found that the link between climate change and natural disasters could be strengthened by refining the natural disaster component of the index. In particular, the Committee discussed capturing specific vulnerabilities of coastal zones by a new indicator. In addition, the Committee acknowledged the potential impact of climate change on water availability, ecosystems and biodiversity that might increase vulnerability, but did not agree on suitable indicators.

The Committee is a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). [Report of the 13th session of the Committee on Development Policy (CDP)]