Thank you, Madam President. We are quite surprised and disappointed to learn of the PBI associated with this resolution. This once again calls into question the utility of such decades, years, and days.
We take this opportunity to make important points of clarification on some of the language we see reflected in the resolution. We underscore that the resolution, and many of the outcome documents referenced therein, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, are non-binding documents that do not create rights or obligations under international law.
The United States’ position regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was articulated in the Explanation of Position on that document. The United States supports the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a framework for development and will continue to be a global leader in sustainable development through our policies, partnerships, innovations, and calls to action. We applaud the call for shared responsibility, including national responsibility, in the 2030 Agenda and emphasize that all countries have a role to play in achieving its vision. However, the 2030 Agenda recognizes that each country must work toward implementation in accordance with its own national policies and priorities.
The United States also underscores that paragraph 18 of the 2030 Agenda calls for countries to implement the Agenda in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of states under international law. We also highlight our mutual recognition in paragraph 58 that 2030 Agenda implementation must respect and be without prejudice to the independent mandates of other processes and institutions, including negotiations, and does not prejudge or serve as precedent for decisions and actions underway in other forums. For example, this Agenda does not represent a commitment to provide new market access for goods or services. This Agenda also does not interpret or alter any WTO agreement or decision, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.
We take this opportunity to make important points of clarification regarding the reaffirmation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Specifically, we note that much of the trade-related language in the Addis 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.
With respect to the New Urban Agenda, the United States believes that each Member State has the sovereign right to determine how it conducts trade with other countries and that this includes restricting trade in certain circumstances. Economic sanctions, whether unilateral or multilateral, can be a successful means of achieving foreign policy objectives. In cases where the United States has applied sanctions, they have been used with specific objectives in mind, including as a means to promote a return to rule of law or democratic systems, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, or to prevent threats to international security. We are within our rights to utilize our trade and commercial policy as tools to achieve noble objectives. Targeted economic sanctions can be an appropriate, effective, and legitimate alternative to the use of force.