Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on Commodities

Jason Lawrence
U.S. Adviser for the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 21, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chair. We would also like to express our thanks for the able facilitation of this resolution. The United States agrees with the importance of this resolution and is pleased to join consensus this year. However, as in previous years, we must express our concerns over portions of this resolution which make obsolete references to the world financial and economic crisis, attributes supposed negative impacts on economic and social development to vague and sweeping references to certain trade practices and trade barriers, and inappropriately calls upon international financial institutions and other non-UN organizations to take actions that are beyond the scope of what this resolution should properly address. We reiterate that trade language negotiated or adopted by the General Assembly or Economic and Social Council, or under their auspices, has no relevance for U.S. trade policy, for our trade obligations or commitments, or for the agenda of the WTO.

It is our view that the United Nations must respect the independent mandates of other processes and institutions, including trade negotiations, and must not involve itself in decisions and actions in other fora, including at the World Trade Organization. In addition, while the United States is active in the Aid for Trade Initiative and supports it, the UN should not opine on the priorities of the WTO Aid for Trade Initiative. Its priorities are set by WTO Members.

The United States questions the references to “excessive or high price volatility.” Regarding trade and market pricing, we believe underlying supply and demand factors can provide effective pricing determination in markets. Any blanket call for policy efforts could be inappropriately aimed at national governmental authorities artificially setting prices, a market distorting protectionist barrier. Any such efforts must be consistent with international rules and obligations

Furthermore, we refer you to our General Statement delivered on November 9th, 2023, to the 78th General Assembly Second Committee session, and to the long-form version of the statement posted online, for additional details on our position regarding trade, technology transfer, illicit financial flows, the independence of international financial institutions, international financial institution reform, and climate change.

Thank you.