Explanation of Vote on a Resolution on the World Summit for Social Development

Mordica Simpson
Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 19, 2020


The United States is disappointed that the text of this resolution addresses issues that are not clearly linked to social development or the work of this Committee. We must express our concerns that portions of this resolution inappropriately call upon international financial institutions and other non-UN organizations to take actions that are beyond the scope of what this body and its resolutions should properly address.

It is our view that the United Nations must respect the independent mandates of other processes and institutions, including trade negotiations, and must not involve itself in decisions, interpretations, and actions in other forums, including the World Trade Organization. There should be no expectation or misconception that the United States would understand recommendations made by the UN General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council on these issues to be binding. This includes calls that undermine incentives for innovation, such as technology transfer that is not voluntary and on mutually agreed terms.

The term “equitable” is used in multiple contexts in this resolution. We must avoid any unintended interpretation of this term that imply a subjective assessment of fairness that, among other things, may lead to discriminatory practices.

Regarding references to the World Health Organization (WHO) in OP29 and OP65, the United States submitted a notice of withdrawal from the WHO, which will become effective on July 6, 2021. We also note that the resolution misguidedly characterizes substance from nonbinding resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly as agreements.

For these, and other reasons, we call a vote and will vote “no” on this resolution.

Thank you, Chairperson.