Explanation of Position following the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028)

Marji Christian
International Relations Officer
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 28, 2017


Thank you, Chair.

We are grateful to Costa Rica for their efforts in introducing this resolution. While the United States joins consensus on this resolution, we would like to take this opportunity to express our deep concern with the procedural issues during negotiations, which led to the insertion of problematic trade language in preambular paragraph 16, as well as reiterate our long-standing objection to the inclusion of such language in UN resolutions. It is for this reason that we are dissociating from this paragraph of the final text.

We believe the original text was written in line with past resolutions seeking to establish commemorative days, years, and decades. Such resolutions should be short, clear, and procedural. However, we were deeply disappointed that other Member States chose to introduce a contentious issue without a chance for discussion. We regret that after this contentious language was removed, we were not given an opportunity to negotiate substitute language.

We also believe that new language and concepts in this area should have first been introduced in the governing processes of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

In addition to concerns about the manner in which the language was introduced, we are concerned about this subject matter being germane to this resolution. The General Assembly should not opine on the appropriate characteristics of international systems that are independent of the UN system. As previously stated, the United States has substantive concerns with this language, which we would be happy to discuss with Member States in the appropriate fora at the WTO.

Thank you.