Explanation of Position after the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on South-South Cooperation for Development

Jason Lawrence
Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 30, 2017


Thank you, Chair.

The United States joins consensus on this resolution and would like to issue the following explanation of position on several issues in the resolution.

Over the years, the United States, working together with other Member States, has provided support to UN entities for their good work in facilitating cooperation among developing countries, which the UN refers to as “south-south cooperation.”

In the past several years, the United States has also voiced serious concerns about wrong-doings associated with UN’s south-south cooperation work. We have called on the Secretary-General and senior managers to take the necessary actions to remedy them and to strengthen management oversight to prevent them from occurring in the future. We note that while UNDP and the Office for South-South Cooperation have taken steps in this regard, some member states’ resistance in this resolution to addressing these issues in a forthright way, such as calling on the Secretary-General to work with the Office of Internal Oversight Services and UNDP Office of Audit and Investigation on a reform plan, has seriously undermined Member States’ collective oversight responsibility.

We reiterate our call for the Secretary-General, in line with his reform mandate, to lead a comprehensive review and reform of UN entities involved in south-south cooperation work, including the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation, to strengthen their transparency, accountability, oversight, and effectiveness.

In addition, with respect to the paragraphs dealing with technology transfer, the United States disassociates from OP14, OP21, and OP28 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.

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 the general statement delivered on November 17.

Thank you.