Explanation of Vote for the Third Committee Inclusive policies and Program to Address Homelessness Including in the Aftermath of the COVID-19

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 18, 2021


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The United States is pleased to join consensus on this resolution on addressing homelessness. The Biden administration is committed to working on solutions that help to eradicate homelessness. With regard to this resolution’s references to economic, social and cultural rights and the 2030 Agenda, we refer you to the U.S. general statement delivered November 5, and the unabridged version of our statement, which will be posted on the U.S. Mission’s website on the final day of this session.

We interpret references to the obligations of States as applicable only to the extent they have assumed such obligations, and with respect to States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in light of its Article 2(1). The United States is not a Party to the Covenant, it is not binding on the United States, and the rights contained therein are not justiciable as such in U.S. Courts. We note that countries have a wide array of policies and actions that may be appropriate in promoting the progressive realization of economic, social, and cultural rights. We therefore believe that resolutions should not try to define the content of those rights, or related rights, including those derived from other instruments. Furthermore, we join consensus with the express understanding that this resolution, including its reference to a right to adequate housing, does not alter the current state of conventional or customary international law, which does not contain a standalone right to adequate housing. We understand the reference to a right to adequate housing in this resolution to be an abbreviated reference to the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, in the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Thank you.