Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on Women in Development

Faith Kroeker-Maus
U.S. Adviser to the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 23, 2022


The United States appreciates the cofacilitators’ work to shepherd this critically important text on the role of women in the development of societies. We emphasize the need to remove barriers to the full enjoyment of human rights for all to the benefit of all.

The United States is committed to empowering women and girls in all their diversity and promoting their role as agents of transformation in the development of their societies and the world. Advancing gender equity and equality worldwide and making tangible progress remains a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.

As a general matter, we underscore that UNGA resolutions are nonbinding documents that do not create rights or obligations under international law. UNGA resolutions do not change the current state of conventional or customary international law and do not change the body of international law applicable to any particular situation discussed or referred to in a resolution. Nor do we read resolutions to imply that States must join or implement obligations under international instruments to which they are not a party.

The United States notes that the “right to development” is not recognized in any of the core UN human rights conventions and does not have an agreed international meaning. The United States welcomes the opportunity to develop and advance such an agreed understanding with Member States.

The United States notes that, with respect to quotas, affirmative action measures, temporary special measures, and other measures intended to achieve parity for women and girls, the U.S. position is that each country must determine for itself whether such measures are appropriate. The best way to improve the situation of women and girls is through legal and policy reforms that end discrimination and promote and provide equal access to opportunities. The U.S. position is addressed further in our general statement.

The United States regrets that sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) was not adequately elevated, particularly given the inherent relationship between SRHR, human rights, and women’s empowerment.

Finally, we refer you to our general statement, delivered on November 21, 2022, which addresses our position regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Thank you.