Explanation of Vote following the Adoption of the UNGA72 Second Committee Resolution on Agricultural Technology for Development

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


Thank you, Chair.

The United States is pleased to join consensus on this year’s resolution and recognizes the important role of agricultural technology in enhancing productivity. We welcome the opportunity to clarify important points regarding this resolution.

With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and climate change, we addressed our concerns in a general statement delivered on November 17.

The United States disassociates from all references to the Sendai Agreement to the extent that such language could promote technology transfer that is not voluntary and on mutually agreed terms. 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.

The United States would also like to address that this resolution does not acknowledge the crucial role of science- and risk-based policy frameworks in technology transfer. Efficient, transparent, and predictable safety assessments are critical to ensuring that innovative technologies are not only safe, but that they also reach farmers in the field without undue delay. In many cases across the world, solutions have escaped farmers because non-existent or unscientific policies discriminate against innovative solutions, delay product approvals, and discourage investment by the private sector.

As a general matter, the U.S. government is supportive of gender-inclusive macroeconomic, labor, and social policies that promote inclusive growth, women’s full and productive employment and decent work and protect women’s right to work and rights at work, including in the agricultural sector. However, preambular paragraph 16 is unclear in its meaning when it speaks to introducing gender-responsive interventions with regard to all stages of agricultural innovation processes, and thus we disassociate from this language and do not view it as a basis for future negotiations. In addition, as a general matter, the U.S. government is supportive of enhancing women’s access to and participation in local, regional, and international markets. As a practical matter, however, no government with a market-based economy can “ensure” access or “ensure” participation in markets. Thus we disassociate from the language regarding “ensuring” access and participation in local, regional, and international markets, and we do not view this language as a basis for future negotiations. We look forward to opportunities to address such gender-inclusive conversations in the future in a more clear and appropriate manner.

Thank you.