Second Committee Statement on Agenda Item 20a “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence

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


The United States regrets that we cannot join consensus on this text and would like to highlight our concerns. With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, characterizations of inclusive economic growth, trade, and technology transfer, we addressed our concerns in a General Statement delivered on November 21, 2019 to the 74th General Assembly Second Committee session.

The United States cannot support the resolution with the reference to “win-win cooperation” in preambular paragraph 9. This phrase has been promoted by a single Member State to insert its core political ideology and signature foreign policy agenda into UN documents and does not reflect the views of all member states. Because this language is included in this paragraph, this agenda item continues to undermine the consensus-based work of the Second Committee.

The United States also rejects any attempt to interpret the language in preambular paragraph 9 to promote state ownership in the economy, or to suggest that governments may deprive private interests of wealth or resources without compensation that is in accordance with international law or may otherwise fail to observe a State’s legal obligations.

The United States cannot join consensus on the reference to “surge in trade-restrictive measures” in preambular paragraph 18. WTO-consistent trade remedy measures and enforcement actions taken to protect economy from the unfair and market-distorting trade practice of others are necessary to deliver on free, fair, and reciprocal trade. We reiterate the points raised in our November 21 statement – the UN is not an appropriate venue for this discussion. The UN is not the appropriate venue for these discussions, and there should be no expectation or misconception that the United States would heed recommendations made by the Economic and Social Council or the General Assembly on these issues

We would also 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 so as to require annual consideration.

The United States looks forward to working with other governments in the months and years ahead to sustain and strengthen the international norms on which the global system is based.