Remarks at a Second Committee Dialogue of the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions

Nicholas Hill
U.S. Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
October 25, 2022


Thank you very much to the Executive Secretaries for their time and presentations today.

The United States is more committed than ever to the success of the UN system, including the Regional Commissions, one of our preferred platforms for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Regional Commissions play a critical role in promoting development grounded in human rights and support for marginalized communities.

At their heart, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are about expanding economic opportunity, social justice, caring for our planet, good governance, and ensuring no one is left behind. These are all Biden Administration priorities. And, of course, respect for human rights must always be at the forefront and serve as a guide for us as we move the SDGs forward.

In this regard, we have our work cut out for us. As the concept note for this event demonstrates, the challenges facing each of the five regions are daunting. And, as is often the case, vulnerable and marginalized communities are among the hardest hit by today’s multiple crises, whether it be the pandemic, climate change, or the global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine.

The United States is partnering throughout the UN system to tackle these challenges. Since February, we have announced $10.5 billion in humanitarian and development aid to strengthen global food security, which includes President Biden’s announcement of $2.9 billion in food security assistance. On the pandemic, last year the United States provided over $9 billion to support global health programs, plus nearly $16 billion for lifesaving COVID-19 assistance to partners to fight the virus and support marginalized communities. And we are standing steadfast with Ukraine in defense of territorial integrity, the UN Charter, and international law.

We are also working to expand collaboration with partners in the Regional Commissions. Over the past year at ESCAP, for example, U.S. experts have participated at all major ESCAP events, sharing their experience, learning from others, and forging partnerships to advance the SDGs. Our Special Advisor on International Disability Rights was in Jakarta just last week for ESCAP’s conference on the rights of persons with disabilities, seeking out opportunities to collaborate and advance human rights-centered development in the Indo-Pacific.

We want this positive trend to continue. Fellow Member States and Regional Commission colleagues, please, reach out to our embassies in Geneva, Bangkok, Addis Ababa, Santiago, and Beirut with ideas on how we can expand our partnerships in each region and team up to make the SDGs a reality. Thank you.