Explanation of Position following the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on Least Developed Countries

Hector Brown
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 28, 2017


Thank you, Chair.

With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement, 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.

The United States has historically been the largest bilateral provider of official development assistance, ODA. Though we have not committed to a specific, quantitative ODA target, the United States expended over $33 billion in ODA in 2016. We are committed to focusing ODA in the contexts where it is needed most and can yield the greatest impact. We will encourage other countries to strive to achieve this same objective.

With respect to OP13, the United States does not concur that the UNGA should call on parties to regional trade agreements to strengthen or otherwise modify those trade agreements, as the UNGA lacks the expertise and standing to make this call. This is a matter that should be left to the parties to each regional trade agreement. With respect to OP15, the United States notes that this language does not involve a call for changes in market access.

While we acknowledge that the term “illicit financial flows” has been utilized in prior resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the United States generally opposes its inclusion because it is a term with no agreed-upon international definition. In the absence of any common understanding of what constitutes illicit financial flows, we should be clearer about the specific underlying illegal activities that produce or contribute to this threat, such as embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, other corrupt practices, or other crimes.

The United States disassociates from OP36 to the extent that encouraging financial and technical assistance to the Technology Bank promotes technology transfer or distribution of IP rights 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.

Thank you.