Explanation of Position on a Third Committee Resolution on Inclusive Policies and Programmes to Address Homelessness

Jessica Brzerski
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 3, 2023


Thank you. The United States is pleased to join consensus on this resolution on addressing homelessness. The Biden Administration remains committed to finding solutions that help to eradicate homelessness.

With regard to this resolution’s references to economic, social, and cultural rights and the 2030 Agenda, we refer you to the U.S. general statement, and the unabridged version of our statement, which will be posted on the U.S. Mission’s website on the final day of this session and included in the Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law.

We interpret references to the obligations of States as applicable only to the extent that they have assumed such obligations, and with respect to States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in light of its Article 2(1). The United States is not a Party to the Covenant; it is not binding on the United States; and the rights contained therein are not justiciable as such in U.S. Courts.

We note that countries have a wide array of policies and actions that may be appropriate in promoting the progressive realization of economic, social, and cultural rights. We therefore believe that resolutions should not try to define the content of those rights, or related rights, including those derived from other instruments.

Further, we join consensus with the express understanding that this resolution, including its reference to a right to adequate housing, does not alter the current state of conventional or customary international law, which does not contain a standalone right to adequate housing.

We understand the reference to a right to adequate housing in this resolution to be an abbreviated reference to the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, in the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We also support the statement made by the distinguished delegate of Japan.

Finally, we are concerned that the oral statement that was delivered by the Secretariat just hours before consideration of this resolution. We encourage the Secretariat to share information as early in the process as possible in well in advance of the tabling of a draft resolution. We will discuss this issue thoroughly in 5C.

I thank you.