Explanation of Position on a UN General Assembly Resolution on the Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Developm

Marji Christian
International Relations Officer
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
December 22, 2017


While we are joining consensus on this resolution, we take this opportunity to clarify important points.

The United States looks forward to discussing the issue of rapid technological change on sustainable development within appropriate fora, including the Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum and the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development. However, we do not believe these issues deserve a separate track within the General Assembly.

We join consensus on this resolution this year, but in the future, we believe these issues can be addressed under existing GA agenda items, particularly Science, Technology and Innovation for Development. Further, we understand that OP5 is not agreement to add this specific issue to the agenda for UNGA 73, and instead, any further consideration of this issue will be under existing agenda items.

The United States disassociates from PP6 to the extent that references to prior UN proposals or calls for “access to technology” promote technology transfer or distribution of intellectual property rights that is not on mutually agreed terms and voluntary. For the United States, any such language will have no standing in future negotiations. The United States continues to oppose language that we believe undermines intellectual property rights.