Explanation of Vote before the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on Sustainable Energy

Jason Lawrence
Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 28, 2017


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States recognizes the importance of access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy. We regret, however, that we must call a vote and vote against this resolution due to unacceptable language on technology transfer in preambular paragraph 13 and operational paragraph 17.

The United States reaffirms in this context that the strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights provides incentives needed to foster innovation that enables us to address the health, environmental, and development challenges of today and tomorrow. Therefore, the United States does not support the references to technology transfer in these paragraphs and continues to oppose language that we believe undermines intellectual property rights. The United States cannot support language that promotes technology transfer that is not on mutually agreed terms and voluntary. We do not believe that UN resolutions are the appropriate vehicle for such pronouncements, and that inclusion of this language is an attempt to prejudice negotiations underway or anticipated in other more appropriate fora.

The United States has therefore called a vote on this resolution and will vote against it, and urges all other Member States to do so as well. We also urge Member States, going forward, to refrain from continuing to use resolutions that should be matters of consensus as vehicles for pursuing other agendas. This practice makes it difficult for the United States to continue to join consensus on these resolutions and will result in further weakening of the agenda of the Second Committee.

Thank you.