The EU welcomes the remarkable development progress made in recent years by Samoa and congratulates also the steps that Samoa has taken, at the national and global levels, on the process of graduation from the LDCs List.
At the same time, the EU would like to express its full support to the three-year period of the smooth transition, which will certainly be used for Samoa and development partners to jointly work to prevent the reduction of benefits as a result of the countrys graduation.
The EU has been and continues to be one of the most important supporters of the LDC category, assisting the most vulnerable countries and, therefore, the EU considers of crucial importance that the LDCs category remains credible and focused on the least advanced developing countries.
In this respect, the EU reaffirms the importance of the independent profile of the CDP experts, and takes again the opportunity to recognize the relevance of the CDP findings, within its mandate, including regarding the inclusion of countries in and graduation from the list of LDCs, in the context of the triennial review of the LDCs.
We recognize that economic vulnerability is currently taken into account in the CDPs decision making. It is the EUs understanding that the attached resolution in no way alters the LDCs criteria. The CDP should continue to independently determine the criteria for inclusion in and graduating from the list of LDCs.
The EU would also like to take this occasion to re-emphasise that the graduation from the LDCs list should be considered as a positive achievement in a countrys economic development. However, we are conscious at the same time of the need to ensure a smooth transition from the LDCs status, allowing graduating countries to prepare themselves and to avoid disruption to their development plans and programmes. The EU remains ready to work on measures to help graduated countries to adjust to the phasing out of the LDCs status, within the framework of the smooth transition strategy.
Finally, the improvement of the situation in many LDCs, the graduation of Cape Verde, Maldives and now Samoa from the list of LDCs give us more enthusiasm and determination to keep fighting poverty and at the same time it strengthens the credibility of the list of LDCs.