International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


A Critical Reflection on International Support for Least Developed Countries

With ten years of the 2030 Agenda to go, and with the fifth Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries starting in 2021, there is a need to re-evaluate the system of international support for LDCs. Some LDCs are performing well but some key international targets have been missed. Looking critically at the theory and assumptions underlying international support makes it possible to identify new assistance mechanisms, instead of falling back on the mainstream position. There is a need for deep-rooted, systemic improvement to the multilateral architecture relating to LDCs–driven by LDC governments themselves and differentiated according to context. This paper identifies six areas of support: the UN system, finance, trade, commodities, technology, and the environment and climate change. It puts forward specific proposals that could be considered in the run-up to UNLDC-V and beyond.


Keywords: LDCs, finance, development, trade, environment
JEL: Q01: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / General / Sustainable Development; O20: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: General; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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