Second Committee Statement on Agenda Item 19f “Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable…&#82

Emma Locatelli
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 27, 2019


Good afternoon and thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States is pleased to join consensus on the resolution: Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development. We would like to clarify several points regarding the resolution.

We refer you to our remarks delivered on November 21, 2019 regarding our position with respect to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, technology transfer, the Paris Agreement and climate change, as well as reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

With regards to the calls for the UNGA to convene a summit on biodiversity in 2020 to be convened within existing resources, the United States expects that as plans for this summit develop that any budgetary impacts of this high level event beyond existing resources will be fully taken into account in consultation with member states in the appropriate fora. As we noted last year in our statement here, the timing of this event – at the very end of a two-year preparatory process – means as a practical matter that a summit will have no meaningful impact on the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework expected to be adopted at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties in the fall of 2020.

We also echo the European Union’s statement and position regarding the theme of the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity meeting.

The United States is concerned that language in this UNGA resolution does not accurately reflect decisions made by the Convention on Biological Diversity Parties at the 14th Conference of the Parties in November 2018. Such approaches do a disservice to implementation of the convention. Rather than restaging old debates and introducing confusing and inconsistent language, the United States urges that any future Convention on Biological Diversity -related resolutions accurately reflect the will of CBD Parties by recognizing and utilizing their agreed language. Moreover, in instances where the language in this resolution is inconsistent with relevant text decided by the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties, we will only look to the Convention on Biological Diversity text.

Finally, we would like to raise our concerns with the workload of this committee. I think many of us have noticed in this year, where we have 47 resolutions – more than ever before, that our work seems more hectic and rushed. We believe we can improve our ability to consider more thoughtfully our work if we were to address the issue of periodicity and triennialize and biennialize a number of resolutions. There is not enough meaningful change on many topics – particularly true on a resolution like this which is focused on the work of a convention that only has a governing body meeting every two years – so as to require annual consideration.

Thank you.