General Statement on a Third Committee Resolution on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Digital Technologies

Kara Eyrich
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 14, 2023


Thank you, Chair. The United States is pleased to cosponsor this important resolution promoting and protecting human rights in the context of digital technologies. Digital technologies, when used properly and with adequate safeguards, can promote human rights, advance inclusive economic growth, and further progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In cosponsoring, the United States reaffirms its strong support for utilizing digital technologies to further these goals while protecting against risks to human rights.

Regarding the references to the principle of proportionality in PP20, OP13 and OP16, we reiterate our longstanding position that there is no textual basis in the ICCPR, or other international human rights conventions to which the United States is a party, for asserting states have an obligation under international human rights law to apply or act in accordance with such a principle. We note further that whether the application of other principles, such as necessity, are required under a state’s obligations is determined by the text of the specific obligation at issue. There is, for example, no necessity requirement stated in ICCPR Article 17.

Regarding the reference in OP20a concerning legal responsibility and the reference to legal safeguards in OP20d, the United States believes that regulation is essential to ensure that these technologies are designed, developed, and used in a manner that upholds and protects the public’s rights and safety. This is why the Biden-Harris Administration plans to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation while mitigating the risks or harms posed by AI technology. However, the United States notes that we understand the references in OP20(a) and OP20(d) concerning legal responsibility and legal safeguards to mean such actions should be put in place as appropriate and in line with domestic legislation.

Regarding the reference in OP21 concerning the participation of relevant stakeholders, the United States strongly supports multistakeholder participation in decisions concerning the development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence and understands the term all relevant stakeholders to mean those who can represent diverse perspectives on the development, deployment, and use of artificial intelligence.

Despite these concerns, the United States will cosponsor in recognition of our dedication to promoting and protecting human rights in the context of digital technologies.

Thank you.