Remarks at the General Debate of the 55th Annual Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
April 26, 2022


Thank you, Mr. President. At the outset, the United States would like to align itself with the statement delivered yesterday by Mexico. As the Commission prepares for the ICPD’s 30th anniversary, and implementing its Program of Action, we must act decisively to address the interconnectedness of economic opportunity, health, and gender in support of the achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are three areas that merit particular attention.

First, women and girls are being held back without the ability to make decisions about their bodies and futures. We must do better to enable them to exercise their bodily autonomy, access sexual and reproductive health services, including comprehensive sexuality education, and be given the opportunity to pursue decent work with social and labor protections. We must acknowledge that respecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people and progress towards SDG Goals 3 and 5, including targets 3.7 and 5.6, are foundational to achieving sustained and inclusive economic growth.

Second, we must acknowledge today’s generation of young people, the largest cohort in history, as critical agents of change. To measure progress on sustained and inclusive economic growth, we call on Member States to enhance data disaggregation by gender, particularly data on adolescent girls.

Third, progress toward sustainable and inclusive economic growth cannot be achieved when half the world’s population, namely women and girls, continue to face systematic barriers to full participation in public, private, and economic life. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified challenges facing women and girls as they shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work. The United States is committed to increasing women’s economic empowerment and security and opportunities both at home and abroad. This includes addressing barriers to women’s recruitment, retention, professional development, and promotion in the workforce. For this reason, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the first ever U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality which recognizes that advancing gender equity and equality is fundamental to every individual’s economic security, safety, health, and ability to exercise their rights.

In conclusion, we urge the Commission to continue to focus on unique drivers of sustained and inclusive economic growth, including progress on SRH, women’s economic empowerment as well as the full and meaningful inclusion of youth across sectors, particularly adolescent girls. We also urge the Commission to remain focused on the integral linkages between education and inclusive economic growth and to ensure these linkages are robustly reflected under next year’s thematic focus on education.