Explanation of Position at 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development: “Social Dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Develop

Thomas J. Leiby
Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
February 16, 2022

Explanation of Position at the 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development on a Resolution Entitled “Social Dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development”


Thank you, Madame Chair.

The United States is pleased to join consensus on this text today, and we thank South Africa for its facilitation of this resolution. The United States values our close partnership with African countries to pursue shared goals of sustainable development, security, global health, food security and nutrition, climate change, democracy, and shared prosperity. We strongly support the African Union’s efforts to realize the goals and aspirations that NEPAD was established to achieve. We welcome the resolution’s commitment to social protections as a fundamental component of sustainable development. In that regard, we appreciate references to the important role of civil society and efforts to strengthen good governance, human rights, and sound economic management. However, we continue to believe these issues are adequately addressed in the annual NEPAD resolution negotiated through the General Assembly.

The United States would like to clarify U.S. positions regarding some of the language contained in the text.

The United States is fully committed to the 2030 Agenda as a global framework for sustainable development and to achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals. We note that paragraph 58 of the 2030 Agenda recognizes that implementation must respect and be without prejudice to the independent mandates of other processes and institutions, including negotiations, and does not prejudge or serve as precedent for decisions and actions underway in other forums. For example, the 2030 Agenda does not interpret or alter any World Trade Organization agreement or decision, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).

On technology transfer, we continue to stress that all technology transfers should be voluntary and on mutually agreed terms.

While the United States acknowledges the UN system increasingly uses the term “illicit financial flows,” we continue to have concerns that this term lacks an agreed-upon international definition.

We also note that the phrase “right to development” does not have an agreed international understanding. Work is needed to develop an understanding consistent with human rights, which the international community recognizes as universal rights held and enjoyed by individuals and which every individual may demand from his or her own government. Indeed, we continue to be concerned that the “right to development” identified within the text protects states instead of individuals.

Lastly, the United States must note with regret the omission of the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: Ending Inequalities and Getting on Track to End Aids by 2030. While we have come a long way since the early days of the HIV pandemic, the 2021 Political Declaration speaks to the significant work which remains. Out-dated and ineffective interventions must be dropped and replaced with those that effectively reach key populations, adolescent girls and young women, children, and men. As the continent faces decades of lost progress towards specific health and gender related SDG targets due to the disproportionate impact of COVID on women and girls and amid serious concerns about the fate of adolescent girls, we regret that the resolution does not adequately convey the urgency of addressing gender-based violence and specifically child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting. We look forward to working with the Committee on Social Development over the next year to ensure these issues are comprehensively addressed in future texts.

Thank You.