The Solomon Islands has presented its case to seek an extension to its graduation preparation from Least Development Country (LDC) status at the fifth LDC Conference in Doha, Qatar on Monday.
The case was made known to delegates attending the Conference by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele.
Minister Manele said the country was scheduled to graduate at the end of 2024, but wants more time to prepare for its smooth transition graduation strategy.
“Our national preparatory process was disrupted by four crisis, COVID-19, Civil Unrest, Climate Change and conflicts.
“Therefore, we are seeking an additional three-year extension from December 2024 – December 2027,” He added.
COVID-19 in 2020, saw Solomon Islands closing its borders and declaring a state of emergency which naturally disrupted supply chains and contracted its economy. For three years running Solomon Islands adopted a deficit budget.
The country is also regarded as a post conflict country, and sadly in 2021, civil unrest saw the burning of Honiara’s commercial infrastructures affecting loss of revenue, jobs and placed more stress on the country’s private sector.
On climate change, Solomon Islands is located in a hot spot where the impact of climate change is three times the global average. The 2021 World Risk Report identified it as the second most exposed country to disaster.
Minister Manele said in short, Solomon Islands has lost the period granted by the UN General Assembly to allow preparations for its graduation out of LDC as scheduled.
“We now have a time bound roadmap with milestone to finalize our Smooth Transition Strategy beginning this year going into 2027,” he remarked.
He reminded the conference that since the last decade, only for countries have graduated from the list of LDCs and 16 others are on different stages of graduation readiness.
–MFAET PRESS RELEASE