Thank you, Madam Vice President, and thank you to the Committee for Development Policy and co-facilitators for your work in support of this negotiation.
First, we would like to congratulate the countries that the Committee for Development Policy recommended for graduation – Bhutan, Solomon Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, Tuvalu, and Kiribati. A gradation recommendation demonstrates significant development progress. The United States supports the UN process for transitioning smoothly out of LDC status.
While we join consensus on the ECOSOC resolution on the Report of the Committee for Development Policy Twentieth Session, we take this opportunity to provide clarifications.
While we understand that many Least Developed Countries, LDCs, including Small Island Developing States, SIDS, are concerned about graduation from LDC status, we are troubled that requests for extensions are becoming more regular and this body is increasingly granting extensions beyond the three years included in its standard policies. The preponderance of extensions reduces the credibility of this body and discourages meaningful development policy.
Certain elements of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway, such as on international trade, may have been overtaken by events and may no longer be implementable.
Regarding the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, AAAA, specifically, we note that much of the trade-related language in the AAAA outcome document has been overtaken by events since July 2015; therefore, it is immaterial, and our reaffirmation of the outcome document has no standing for ongoing work and negotiations that involve trade.
We also would like to make important points of clarification regarding the Istanbul Program of Action, IPoA. Specifically, we note that much of the trade-related language in the IPoA has been overtaken by events since May 2011; therefore, it is immaterial and has no standing for ongoing work and negotiations that involve trade.