Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

DEVELOPMENT: COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS

The Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries

The Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries is a subsidiary body to the Committee on Trade and Development.

The Doha mandate
The Doha mandate explained
Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration

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The mandate back to top

The mandate of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) is to look specifically at issues of particular importance to LDCs. Its terms of reference state its main areas of the work. Like the Committee on Trade and Development, all members of the WTO are also members of the Sub-Committee on LDCs.

Since the Doha Ministerial Conference in 2001, the Sub-Committee on LDCs focuses on the implementation of the WTO Work Programme for the LDCs. The Work Programme addresses the following systemic issues: (a) Market Access for LDCs; (b) Trade-related Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Initiatives for LDCs; (c) Providing, as appropriate, support to agencies assisting with the diversification of LDCs' production and export base; (d) Mainstreaming, as appropriate, into the WTO's work the trade-related elements of the LDC-III Programme of Action, as relevant to the WTO's mandate; (e) Participation of LDCs in the multilateral trading system; (f) Accession of LDCs to the WTO; (g) Follow-up to WTO Ministerial Decisions/Declarations.

The Sub-Committee on LDCs also monitors the work of the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least-Developed Countries.

The WTO recognizes as LDCs those countries which have been designated as such by the United Nations. There are at present 48 LDCs on the UN list, 32 of which are Members of the WTO. Twelve LDCs namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, Union of the Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Liberia, Samoa, Sudan, Vanuatu, Yemen and Sao Tome & Principe are in various stages of their accession process.

Click for Doha Development Agenda gatewayThe Declaration      > Declaration explained
Decision explained  > The Decision on implementation-related issues and concerns
Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration (paragraphs 47-51)

  

Work and documents in the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries back to top

Search Documents Online
Documents of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries use the code WT/COMTD/LDC/* or WT/COMTD/LLDC/* (where * takes additional values).
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help with downloading these documents

  • Annual reports of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries and the Committee on Trade and Development to the General Council (Document code WT/COMTD/* and keyword “report” and “Committee on Trade and Development”)     > search
  • Minutes of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries to the General Council (Document code WT/COMTD* and M and (LDC or LLDC))     > search
  • Working documents of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries to the General Council (Document code WT/COMTD* and W and (LDC or LLDC))     > search
  • General documents of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries (Document code WT/COMTD/LDC/*)     > search

You can perform more sophisticated searches from the Documents Online search facility (opens in new window) by defining multiple search criteria such as document symbol (i.e. code number), full text search or document date.