29 Sep 2009

Samoa PM calls for extension least developed country status

9:12 am on 29 September 2009

Samoa's Prime Minister has called for his country to be granted an extension of the period in which its transition at the United Nations takes place, from least developed country, or LDC, to developing country status.

Samoa is set to graduate from the LDC list in December 2010 after it was found to have met various criteria such as higher levels of gross national income per capita and human assets.

LDC status has given Samoa various privileges like market access for exports as well as special treatment in areas including trade and foreign aid.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told the UN General Assembly that Samoa is not currently ready to graduate from this status.

"The intervention of the financial crisis was unknown and not taken into account when the decision was made to progress Samoa to the transitional period. An extension of the transitional period is therefore both necessary and justified."