Deputy U.S. Representative for ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 12, 2021
The United States joins consensus on this resolution. We wish to deliver our Explanation of Position.
We remained concerned about trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in Belarus and Belarus’ inhumane facilitation of irregular migrant flows across its borders that creates significant vulnerabilities to human trafficking.
We are pleased to see decreased instances of reprisals by the Lukashenka regime in recent years against individuals who do not participate in local and national Subbotniks. We remained concerned though that the government is not vigorously investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes under its trafficking statute.
Second, the United States strongly condemns the Lukashenka regime’s political exploitation of vulnerable persons and the regime’s callous and inhumane facilitation of irregular migrants across its borders. We call on the regime to immediately halt its campaign of orchestrating irregular migrant flows across its borders, which also creates significant vulnerabilities to trafficking in persons for these migrants.
As long as the Lukashenka regime refuses to respect its international obligations and commitments, undermines the peace and security of Europe, and continues to repress and abuse its own people, the United States will press our calls for accountability for the regime’s actions.
We support the European Union and our other partners and allies in confronting the challenges coming from the government of Belarus and in supporting the democratic choice of the Belarussian people.
Lastly, the United States regrets the adoption of language suggesting that States Parties should “fully” implement the UNTOC. The UNTOC and its protocols have several provisions that are not mandatory and use of “full” suggests those provisions are also to be implemented along with mandatory provisions. At minimum this language is confusing. Article 34 of the UNTOC “Implementation” explains that “Each State Party shall take the necessary measures, including legislative and administrative measures, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, to ensure the implementation of its obligations under this Convention.” There is no obligation to implement non-binding provisions. The United States does not view “fully” as expanding its obligations and will apply the adopted language consistent with Article 34.