General Explanation of Position on Second Committee Resolutions in the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly

Nicholas Hill
U.S. Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
November 21, 2022


Thank you, Madame Chair, for your efficient and effective leadership of Second Committee this year. We also extend our gratitude to the Committee for its very constructive spirit this session. Together, we reached compromises on very challenging and consequential issues.

We take this opportunity to deliver a general statement. We will submit a longer version for the record clarifying U.S. policy positions on consensus documents, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, geopolitical tensions and conflict caused by Russia, trade and technology transfer, special drawing rights, debt, concessional finance, sanctions, COVID-19, disaster risk reduction, climate, and UN efficiency.

The United States stands with the broad community of nations that shares our vision for the future of an international order governed by the UN Charter, where the universal rights of all individuals are upheld; where our environment, air, oceans, space, cyberspace, and channels of commerce are protected and accessible to all; and where multilateral institutions such as the United Nations rise to meet our global challenges.

We are pleased to see the Committee achieve so much common ground on the future of sustainable development. As reflected in the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy issued in October, the United States remains committed to advancing the SDGs. Year after year, more than 20 U.S. government agencies partner globally to advance all 17 SDGs and promote peace and prosperity for all.

Allow me to take a moment to clarify U.S. policy positions on several issues contained in 2C resolutions.

The United States supports a strong and effective UN system. We likewise uphold and respect the authority, independent mandates, and roles of important institutions outside the UN system when it comes to promoting international monetary and financial stability, encouraging robust trade, and raising worldwide living standards. We welcome Member State efforts to ensure actions taken at the UN do not influence important, independent fora such as the WTO, the IMF, and the OECD. Where UN resolutions refer to independent institutions, we prefer neutral language that “notes” or “acknowledges” their function.

The United States maintains that 2C resolutions should only reference Member State-negotiated outcome documents from UN conferences. Consistent with longstanding UN norms, we do not support references to the statements of conference hosts, such as the Kunming Declaration, or the inclusion of individual Member States’ foreign policy ideology or rhetoric in 2C resolutions. We should all seek resolutions that reflect consensus and address issues on a global scale. We urge all Member States to reject the inclusion of contentious language in 2C resolutions that do not reflect the interests of the majority of Member States and consistently distract from our path to consensus.

A word on Russia’s war in Ukraine and its global impact on development: The United States believes in the important work of the Second Committee, which shapes the global conversation on sustainable development, poverty eradication, food security, and so much more. Russia’s brutal and unjustified war against Ukraine has only contributed to a surge in food and energy prices, exacerbated poverty and food security worldwide.

As the Secretary General unequivocally stated, Russia’s war will “prolong the dramatic impacts on the global economy, especially in developing countries, and hinder our ability to deliver life-saving aid.” We understand references to “geopolitical tensions and conflicts” to refer to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, which has unraveled years of progress on the SDGs and harmed stability everywhere. The United States remains firmly committed to working with fellow Member States to confront these transnational threats to peace and prosperity and get back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Although we sometimes differ on our preferred approaches, we firmly believe our community of nations agrees on a vision of international order based on the UN Charter, shaped by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and informed by the important work of the Committee. We made important progress this year, but much remains to be done. It was an honor and a pleasure to partner with you all during this year’s negotiations.

Thank you.