Explanation of Position on a Resolution on the Graduation of Vanuatu from Least Developed Countries Category

Jason Mack
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 14, 2020


The United States would like to thank Fiji for its leadership on this important resolution. We would also like to congratulate Vanuatu on this milestone achievement. Vanuatu’s graduation from Least Developed Country status is an accomplishment to celebrate, even more so considering the unprecedented social and economic impact Vanuatu faced due to COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold. We are proud that the United States, through a Millennium Challenge Corporation compact of $65 million, was able to partner with Vanuatu on this path to development.

Regarding the text in the resolution, the United States dissociates from operative paragraph 3 due to its trade-related language. The UN is not the appropriate forum to comment on offering, extending, or ending trade preferences, and such language shall have no standing at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The United States does not consider recommendations made by the UN General Assembly on trade-related issues to be binding or have relevance at the WTO. Our position regarding the trade-related language of operative paragraph 3 is unrelated to Vanuatu’s graduation from LDC status. The United States strongly supports Vanuatu’s graduation.

With this clarification, we join consensus on this resolution.

Thank You.