Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Cou

Jason Lawrence
Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 28, 2018


The United States is pleased to join consensus on the resolution: Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa. We would like to clarify several points regarding the resolution.

First, concerning PP 10, the United States supports the aims of the UN Strategic Plan on Forests, UNSPF, but we reiterate that we dissociated from unacceptable language on the transfer of technology in the plan. We refer States to the U.S. statement on the UNSPF and stress that we do not accept the language and will not consider it as a basis for future discussions.

Second, concerning OP2, we believe this resolution misquotes UNCCD text dealing with linkages with the SDGs and in a number of other instances uses language that is inconsistent with the UNCCD COP-13 outcomes, including in OP6, OP9, and OP12 among others. It is the UNCCD Conference of the Parties – and not the UN General Assembly – that through its decisions provides guidance to the UNCCD Parties in their implementation of the Convention. As a result, when there is a discrepancy between UNGA text and UNCCD COP decisions, we will only look to the UNCCD text. We must insist once again this year that any future resolutions concerning the UNCCD accurately reflect the will of the Parties by recognizing and accurately reflecting agreed language.

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 trade, technology transfer, and inclusive economic growth.

Thank you.