Jan 26, 2009 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX)
Vanutaus finance minister, Sela Molisa will lead a four-member team to New York to lobby the UN Committee for Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) to retain its least developed country (LDC) status, along with four other Pacific Island countries.
Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu belong to the LDC category of the United Nations.
Vanuatu Daily Post say remaining as an LDC provides special privileges for Vanuatu.
Accompanying the minister are the director generals to the PMs office, Semion Athy, finances first political adviser, Augustine Garae and the Governor of the Reserve Bank Odo Tevi.
Last year, the United Nations body wrote to the Vanuatu Government giving a three year time frame to argue its graduation from the LDC group.
DG to the Prime Ministers Office, Simeon Athy told the newspaper that Vanuatus ambassadors to the UN, Donald Kalpokas and to Belgium, Roy Mickey Joy will join the high level Vanuatu delegation in New York to lobby Vanuatu case not to graduate out of being an LDC country.
Following this trip and in line with the procedures, on February 15 Vanuatu is expected to submit a written submission to the UN to justify our position to remain in LDC category.
The DG of the Prime Ministers Office will call on all government institutions to provide all required data to help us to ask UN to change the rules of graduation because for example, our country is made up of 80 inhabited small islands which are vulnerable to natural disasters including cyclones and earthquakes, Mr Athy said.
Daily Post was informed that Vanuatus on going funding such as the Millennium Challenge Fund and other overseas development assistance may come to an end should this New York meeting suggest that Vanuatu graduates out from the LDC in the next three years.