Explanation of Position on a Third Committee Resolution on Trafficking in Women and Girls

Sofija Korac
ECOSOC Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 15, 2018


The United States thanks our Philippine colleagues for its biannual resolution on trafficking in women and girls, and for running an efficient and transparent negotiation process. We share the international community’s commitment to address human trafficking, and was pleased to work with delegations to craft this resolution.

The United States believes that women should have equal access to reproductive health care. We remain committed to the commitments laid out in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and in the ICPD Program of Action. As has been made clear over many years, there was international consensus that these documents do not create new international rights, including any “right” to abortion. The United States fully supports the principle of voluntary choice regarding maternal and child health and family planning. We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance. We also note that the United States is the largest bilateral donor of reproductive health and family planning assistance.

The United States disassociates from preambular paragraph 10 of the resolution. We do not support a compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration and objects to references in the resolution to this compact. As the United States has not participated in the UN process to negotiate the migration compact and we will not endorse this instrument, it should be clear to all nations that we are not bound by any commitments or outcomes stemming from the migration compact process or contained in the compact itself.

The United States recognizes and reaffirms its belief that decisions about whom to legally admit for residency or to whom to grant citizenship are among the most important sovereign decisions a country can make, and are not subject to negotiation in international instruments or fora. The United States maintains the sovereign right to facilitate or restrict access to our territory, in accordance with our national laws and policy, while providing relevant protections consistent with our international obligations.

As President Trump noted in his September 25 UN General Assembly address, “We recognize the right of every nation in this room to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests, just as we ask other countries to respect our own right to do the same.” That is one reason the United States will not participate in the new Global Compact on Migration. Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens.

Thank you Mr. Chair.