Thank you, Chair.
While we are joining consensus on this resolution, we take this opportunity to clarify important points.
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 a general statement delivered on November 17.
The United States disassociates from PP18, PP25, OP12, and OP27 to the extent that technology transfer references and encouraging financial assistance to the Technology Bank promotes technology transfer or distribution of intellectual property 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.
While the United States strongly supports efforts to advance disability-inclusive development, we must also disassociate from OP8 for the same reasons – technology transfer must be on mutually agreed terms and voluntary. The United States remains committed to promoting the rights and full inclusion of people with disabilities in society and partners with governments, civil society, and the private sector to remove barriers and obstacles to their economic empowerment.
The United States has consistently supported many important goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, most recently at the U.S.-AU High Level Dialogue held on November 16, 2017 in Washington. We note that the Agenda includes goals such as improving access to and the quality of education, investing in infrastructure, protecting the environment, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and many other worthy initiatives shared both by African countries and the United States. We are concerned, however, by language committing to reducing food imports which could have a negative impact on food security and may not be consistent with trade obligations of African Members of the WTO, and we hope to hold further discussions with the AU on this issue.