Explanation of Vote on the Resolution on Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Specialized Agencies and International Institutions Associat

Jason Mack
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 14, 2020


The resolution now before the Council is similar to resolutions considered by ECOSOC since 2006 and identical to the one considered in the 2019 ECOSOC year. The United States will maintain its past practice and abstain on this vote.

We agree in principle that UN funds, programs, and specialized agencies can provide useful support to territories that are not UN members. However, the Administering Power has the sovereign responsibility to determine the manner in which its territories can participate in the UN system. We reiterate that the domestic laws and policies of a territory’s Administering Power determine whether such support is allowed.

In the United States, the Constitution states that the sole authority for the conduct of foreign relations, including the foreign relations of U.S. territories, rests with the federal government. Consequently, we object to language in this resolution that is inconsistent with U.S. constitutional arrangements, and therefore cannot support the resolution as it currently stands.