23 Sep 2013

Tuvalu wants changes in assessment of LDC criteria

6:31 pm on 23 September 2013

Tuvalu's government is to push the United Nations to reconsider its criteria for graduation from Least Developed Country status.

Tuvalu is one of 49 countries with LDC status, ensuring it has greater access to foreign aid.

The status is based on poverty, weakness in human resources and economic and environmental vulnerability.

Because of the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, Tuvalu faces serious threats but because it met other targets it is due to graduate from LDC status, though this has been temporarily deferred.

However the Tuvalu prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, says his country feels not enough weight is given to the environmental plight of small island states like his.

"The present application of those criteria we feel is totally unrealistic and perhaps very very wrong. We need to address that. The application of the current criterias - we have no problem with the criterias but the application - EVI (Environmental Vulnberability Index) must be one of the two."

The Tuvalu prime minister, Enele Sopoaga.