DEVELOPMENT: COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
The Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries
The Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries is a subsidiary body to the Committee on Trade and Development. The current chair is .
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The mandate back to top
The mandate of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) is to look specifically at issues of particular importance to LDCs. Its terms of reference state its main areas of the work. Like the Committee on Trade and Development, all members of the WTO are also members of the Sub-Committee on LDCs.
Since the Doha Ministerial Conference in 2001, the Sub-Committee on LDCs focuses on the implementation of the WTO Work Programme for the LDCs. The Work Programme addresses the following systemic issues: (a) Market Access for LDCs; (b) Trade-related Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Initiatives for LDCs; (c) Providing, as appropriate, support to agencies assisting with the diversification of LDCs' production and export base; (d) Mainstreaming, as appropriate, into the WTO's work the trade-related elements of the LDC-III Programme of Action, as relevant to the WTO's mandate; (e) Participation of LDCs in the multilateral trading system; (f) Accession of LDCs to the WTO; (g) Follow-up to WTO Ministerial Decisions/Declarations.
The Sub-Committee on LDCs also monitors the work of the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least-Developed Countries.
The WTO recognizes as LDCs those countries which have been designated as such by the United Nations. There are at present 48 LDCs on the UN list, 32 of which are Members of the WTO. Twelve LDCs namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, Union of the Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Liberia, Samoa, Sudan, Vanuatu, Yemen and Sao Tome & Principe are in various stages of their accession process.
Work and documents in the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries back to top