Attainment of sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific will be determined by the progress made by the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), which comprise 30 of our 53 members and 7 of our 9 associate members.  

Their challenges

Their small populations and small domestic markets limit the viability of productive sectors and the ability to benefit from economies-of-scale. For many, the geographic remoteness from major economic centers constrains access to regional markets. Given their topography, many are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and acutely affected by environmental degradation. Despite their efforts, social indicators in many countries in special situations remain below the regional average. Several of these countries have furthermore emerged from conflict only relatively recently. As a result, these countries, while constituting more than half of the Commission’s membership, account for only 3 per cent of the region’s GDP and trade in goods and services.

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Their programmes of actions

To support these groups of countries, the United Nations has called for the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries 2014-2024, and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway (2014-2024). 

ESCAP as an intergovernmental forum

As an intergovernmental forum, the Commission considers the needs of these countries during the annual sessions of the Special Body on Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Sectoral issues are considered by ESCAP’s respective Committees as well as Ministerial Conferences. To support these deliberations, ESCAP provides analytical studies, as well as technical support on the development of productive capacity, infrastructure, trade and transport, human resources, private sector, official development assistance, and other external assistance and institutional development. Through these studies and the technical support, ESCAP helps policymakers in these economies to develop integrated approaches, models, and tools aimed at enhancing regional cooperation with regard to the SDGs. 


Countries in Special Situations
Countries in Special Situations +662-288-1234 [email protected]