Explanation of Vote on a Resolution on Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering All Women and Girls for Realising All Sustainable Development Goals

Isabel Udell
U.S. Adviser for the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 21, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chair. On behalf of the United States, I would like to extend our thanks to the Facilitator for shepherding this critically important text on gender equality and sustainable development. The United States is deeply committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. When barriers facing women’s and girls’ economic empowerment around the world are removed, their economies are more resilient, communities are stronger, and nations are more peaceful and more prosperous.

We emphasize that gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is central to sustainable development and to the work of the Second Committee.

It’s unfortunate that some delegations refused to acknowledge this and to negotiate constructively on this resolution. This unconstructive approach is especially disappointing when, just a few months ago, we all adopted the SDG Political Declaration, which states “that gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets.”

As we all know, we are not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, and we must take urgent action to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Gender equality is both a cross-cutting enabler and accelerator for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This resolution acknowledges this reinforcing relationship.

The United States regrets that the language on gender equality and empowering women and girls in all their diversity was not stronger in this resolution. It’s unfortunate that sexual and reproductive health and rights was not included in the resolution, particularly given the inherent relationship between sexual and reproductive health and rights, human rights, and women’s economic empowerment. We look forward to working with all to strengthen this resolution in future years.

We also take this opportunity to clarify our position on a few issues. The United States strongly supports the realization of the right to education. In the United States, education matters are primarily determined at the state and local levels, however we understand that when

resolutions call on States to strengthen various aspects of education, including with respect to access to inclusive, equitable, or quality education, and other areas and aspects of education, this is done in terms consistent with our respective federal, state, and local authorities.

Finally, we refer you to our General Statement delivered on November 9th and the long-form statement posted online for our complete positions on the SDG Political Declaration, gender equality, and human rights.

Thank you.