Explanation of Vote on a Resolution on the International Financial System and Development

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


Mr. Chairperson, the United States is disappointed to see there has not been sufficient change in this resolution. Therefore, we must vote against it for the fourth year in a row.

On PP13, the United States does not agree with the reference to “increasing protectionism and inward-looking policies”. WTO-consistent trade remedy measures and enforcement actions against unfair and market-distorting trade practices of others are not “protectionist.” We do not advocate protectionism, and we will not accept veiled criticisms of our policies when others are unwilling to do the hard work necessary to deliver on free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

Regarding OPs 2 and 11, calls for enhancing, ensuring, or strengthening the coherence and consistency of international financial, monetary, and trading systems and policies presumes that the current level of coherence and consistency is sub-optimal in some way. We do not necessarily share this view. In addition, the United States does not support the attempt to prescribe the appropriate characteristics of international systems that are independent of the UN system.

On OP15, the United States disagrees with the decision to highlight specific banks when numerous multilateral development banks do exceptional work to advance important international development objectives.

With respect to OP 16, we strongly disagree with the encouragement to provide “flexible, concessional, fast-disbursing, and front-loaded assistance” without regard to the financial sustainability of the institutions, the development impact and effect on poverty reduction of such assistance, or the presence of an appropriate macroeconomic policy framework. The concessionality of assistance should be determined by the governance bodies of the International Financial Institutions, which should allocate limited concessional resources considering income and creditworthiness. Furthermore, this recommendation could be read as encouraging multilateral development banks to refrain from adhering to the high social, environmental, and fiduciary standards that are essential to achieving sustainable development.

We would also like to raise our concerns with the workload of this committee. We believe we can improve our ability to consider more thoughtfully our work if we were to address the issue of periodicity and triennialize and biennialize a number of resolutions, including this resolution.

Finally, we would like to refer you to our general statement delivered on November 18, which details a number of additional concerns also found in this resolution, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, illicit financial flows, trade issues, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Thank you.