Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 21, 2018



The United States is pleased to join consensus on the Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development resolution. We believe it recognizes the critical role that entrepreneurship can play in achieving sustainable development. We would like to clarify several points regarding the resolution.

First, while we acknowledge that the term “illicit financial flows” has been utilized in prior resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the United States generally opposes its inclusion because it is a term with no agreed-upon international definition. In the absence of any common understanding of what constitutes illicit financial flows, we should be clearer about the specific underlying illegal activities that produce or contribute to this threat, such as embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, other corrupt practices, or other crimes.

Second, the United States supports national and international efforts to reduce waste, particularly where those efforts advance economic growth and innovation by promoting recovery and recycling of end-of-life products. However, we find that the term “circular economy” is without a commonly held definition and in some cases may imply policies that are incompatible with innovation in the sustainable management of post-consumer materials. We should avoid relying on loosely defined jargon where it may detract from the underlying shared goal of reducing waste through recovery and recycling.

Third, with regard to science and technology education policies, we strongly supports quality STEM education, but we note that in the United States, curricular and other education policies, decisions, and actions are taken as appropriate and consistent with our respective federal, state, or local authorities.

Finally, we refer you to our national statement delivered on November 8, which addresses our concerns regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and characterizations of inclusive economic growth and technology transfer.

Thank you.