Thank you, Chair.
The United States joins consensus on this resolution and would like to issue the following explanation of position on several issues in the resolution.
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.
Regarding PP10, the United States wishes to reiterate its strong disagreement with elements of the first substantive report of the Inter-agency Task Force. To address these concerns, we urge the IATF to consult early and often with Member States as it prepares the 2018 report.
Concerning PP 19 bis, the United States supports the aims of the UN Strategic Plan on Forests, UNSPF, but we reiterate that we dissociate from unacceptable language on the transfer of technology in the plan. We refer parties to the U.S. statement on the UNSPF and stress that we do not accept the language and will not consider it as a basis for future discussions.
Regarding the references to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, we note that much of the trade-related language in this outcome document has been overtaken by events since July 2015 and is immaterial. That language has no standing for ongoing work and negotiations involving trade.
The United States disassociates from OP29 to the extent that the technology transfer reference 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.
Regarding PP6, the United States has consistently supported many important goals of the African Union Agenda 2063, most recently at the U.S.-AU High Level Dialogue held on November 16, 2017 in Washington, and notes 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 Africa and the United States. We are concerned, however, by language committing the reduction of 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.