Explanation of Position on Agenda Item 19 (a): Political Declaration for the High-level Political Forum (HLPF)

Courtney R. Nemroff
Acting U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
October 15, 2019


Good morning. Thank you, Mr. President. We would like to thank the co-facilitators, Bahamas and Sweden, for their leadership on this High-level Political Forum (HLPF) resolution. Today the United States is pleased to join consensus on this important outcome document.

All countries have a role to play in achieving the 2030 vision. The Agenda remains a common rallying point for the international community to share both the burdens and the opportunities inherent in addressing global development challenges. The United States will continue to play a leading role in sustainable development, not only as the world’s largest provider of Official Development Assistance by volume, but also as the largest contributor of funding to the United Nations system and the Multilateral Development Banks. We want to emphasize that today’s global development challenges will require collective action to create and foster an environment that prioritizes domestic resource mobilization, as well as the engagement of the private sector and other key non-governmental stakeholders, including civil society and faith-based organizations. The United States itself is built on a system of individual liberties, which give people the freedom to innovate and drive progress. For the United States, pro-growth policies have delivered robust economic growth, restored incentives, and established a strong cycle of prosperity. In our foreign engagements, we understand that economic ties are most valuable when they are inclusive, multidirectional, and rules-based. We also believe that investments in sustainable development will have the greatest impact when they promote and uphold internationally accepted best practices and standards, when they establish local markets, and when they catalyse additional investments and action at the local level. To meet the 2030 Agenda’s ambition and achieve sustainable progress, countries will need to actively choose investments that adhere to the highest environmental and social standards, and which are financially viable. All of our collective efforts across the Sustainable Development Goals should be grounded in the principles of good governance, transparency, and sustainability (including debt sustainability), and also ensure that economic and social impacts are properly assessed and progress is localized.

To fully realize the challenges and opportunities in the Agenda, the involvement of all stakeholders, including the private sector, is imperative. In some parts of the world and even in multilateral institutions here in the UN system, the participation of the private sector and non-governmental actors is threatened. We will not collectively meet the Goals of the 2030 Agenda without the full and unobstructed involvement of these important non-governmental stakeholders.

Lastly, we take this opportunity to make points of clarification on the negotiated text of the HLPF Political Declaration. The ECOSOC Second Committee General Statement we delivered on November 8, 2018, addressed our broader concerns on the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework, and New Urban Agenda. With respect to the Paris Agreement and climate change language in this document, the United States reaffirms its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement at the earliest opportunity. Therefore, the Paris Agreement and climate change language is without prejudice to U.S. positions. We affirm our support for promoting economic growth and improving energy security, while also protecting the environment.

Thank you, Mr. President.