Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The United States recognizes that sand and dusts storms are a significant concern for affected countries. While we join consensus on this resolution, we must express our concern with some of its paragraphs.
With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and climate change, we addressed our concerns in a General Statement delivered on November 17. Regarding OP4, we do not support the UNEP Executive Director launching an inter-agency process to develop a global response to sand and dust storms, and would oppose any attempt to mandate that UNEP develop a UN system-wide approach, as it is not included in UNEP’s program of work and budget. Finally, the United States does not support OP5 to the extent that such language could promote technology transfer that is not voluntary and on mutually agreed terms. For the United States, any such language will have no standing in future negotiations. The United States continues to oppose language that we believe undermines intellectual property rights.