Explanation of Vote on a Resolution on Eradicating Rural Poverty

Jesse Walter
Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 24, 2020


Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the facilitator for her work this year and last year to try to get this resolution to consensus.

Mr. Chairman, throughout these negotiations, the United States was candid about our concerns regarding this text. Our efforts to bring the language in the negotiated paragraphs into line with other UN documents were rebuffed. We must now join with many partners today in voting “no” on this resolution. We urge others to also vote “no.”

The United States is a leader in the alleviation and eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and it is unfortunate that this text undermines the international community’s good work focused on eradicating poverty and injects unneeded political distractions into our important conversation on this issue.

It is precisely because this issue is so important that we need to ensure our discussions are not compromised by the unnecessary inclusion of politicized language and the ballooning number of topics this resolution seeks to address, such as the increased focus on digital issues this year. We made our requests clear during negotiations, and regret that they were not taken on board. We respect the Bureau’s working methods this year and understand that many paragraphs were not open for negotiation. However, OPs 4, 7, 8, 14, 17, and 18, in particular, reflect the domestic policies and political ideology of a single member state.

Specifically, we cannot support the references to “win-win cooperation” and “building a shared future for humankind” in OP17. This language is promoted by a single member state and is not appropriate for inclusion in UN resolutions. Furthermore, its continued inclusion undermines the consensus-based work of the Second Committee.

The outcomes in this document also waste time and resources of the United Nations. The Secretary General already produces an annual report that analyzes progress on the eradication of poverty holistically, and we call for rural poverty to be addressed within this context.

At a time when Member States have agreed to make the UN work more efficiently, this resolution creates a duplicative mandate that, in the years to come, will inflate an already-bloated General Assembly agenda and pull precious resources away from the UN’s important work to benefit those who are most in need.

Finally, regarding our position with respect to the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement and climate change, the New Urban Agenda, technology transfer, and inclusive economic growth, we refer you to our remarks delivered on November 18.

Thank you.