Explanation of Position following the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on Landlocked Developing Countries

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


Thank you, Chair.

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. We note that while the United States continues to develop its policies on climate change, the language on climate change included in this resolution is without prejudice to our future positions.

Regarding OP24, the United States is confused by the urging of members to enhance technical and capacity-building assistance for the effective implementation of provisions of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. In reviewing the demand for such assistance, we are not aware of any demonstrated need to enhance it.

The United States disassociates from OP36 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.

The United States values its participation in the Aid for Trade initiative. That said, we regret that we must disassociate from OP40, which suggests that development partners have not yet effectively implemented the Aid for Trade initiative. We also cannot join consensus on language that provides guidance to WTO Members on how to implement the initiative. We do not disagree that the special needs and requirements listed in OP40 are of importance to the LLDCs, but these needs are not found in the Aid for Trade Work Program, nor can they be considered as necessary for effective implementation of the initiative. The Work Program is negotiated by WTO Members. We do not recognize any attempt by the UN General Assembly to prescribe priorities for initiatives of the WTO, which is an independent institution with a different membership, mandate, and rules of procedure. Further, the United States cannot join consensus on language that suggests that development partners must implement the Aid for Trade initiative differently for different groups of beneficiaries.

We also note that the reference to “international organizations” in OP41 does not include the WTO. The agenda of the WTO is set exclusively by WTO Members. This is not a matter on which the UN General Assembly should opine.

Thank you.