Explanation of Vote on a Second Committee Resolution on International Migration and Development

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 28, 2018


The United States objects to this resolution for a number of reasons, in particular its overarching focus on a role for the UN in advancing global governance of migration and development, a role that impinges on state sovereignty and should be strictly reserved for member states. While the United States honors the contributions immigrants have made to our nation, we do not support processes that impose international guidelines, standards, and commitments that might constrain our ability to make sovereign decisions in the best interests of the American people.

We disagree with the calls in the resolution to reaffirm documents that the United States does not support, including the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a document that commits to “strengthening global governance” for international migration and contains a number of goals that are inconsistent with U.S. law and policy.

The United States notes its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so, unless suitable terms for re-engagement are identified. Therefore, the Paris

Agreement and climate change language in these resolutions is without prejudice to U.S. positions. We affirm our support for promoting economic growth and improving energy security while protecting the environment.

The United States does not support the creation of a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration Compact and objects to references in the resolution to this Compact. As the United States has not participated in the process to negotiate this text and will not endorse the Compact, we are not bound by any commitments or outcomes stemming from the Compact process or contained in the Compact itself.

The United States recognizes and reaffirms its belief that decisions about whom to admit for legal residency or to grant citizenship are among the most important sovereign decisions a country can make, and are not subject to negotiation in international instruments or fora. The United States maintains the sovereign right to facilitate or restrict access to our territory, in accordance with our national laws and policies, and our existing international obligations.