Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on the Convention on Biological Diversity

Angela Palazzolo
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 30, 2018


The United States is pleased to join consensus on the resolution: Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development. We would like to clarify several points regarding the resolution.

The United States dissociates from OP6, which calls for a summit on biodiversity in 2020. As the resolution states that the summit will be convened within existing resources, the United States expects that as plans for this summit develop that any budgetary impacts of this high level event beyond existing resources will be fully taken into account in consultation with member states in the appropriate fora.

Though CBD Parties at the High Level Session of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, invited the General Assembly to convene a summit on biodiversity, the timing of such – at the very end of a two-year preparatory process – means as a practical matter that a summit will have no meaningful impact on the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework expected to be adopted at the Conference.

Moreover, since there has been no discussion about the outcomes expected or to develop any sense of the duration or extent or character of such a summit, it is impossible to determine how realistic it is to expect that it could be accomplished within existing resources, and we have serious concerns that it would likely be very costly. 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 the characterization of trade, technology transfer, and inclusive economic growth.

Thank you.