Second Committee Statement on Agenda Item 21 (a) “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries”

Jason Lawrence
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 26, 2019


On behalf of the United States, I would like to extend our thanks to the facilitator for the successful shepherding of this resolution on the Follow-up to the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries.  The United States appreciated the opportunity to participate in these important discussions over the last few weeks.

We are pleased to join consensus on this resolution. Regarding references to Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) in OP8, the United States does not accept language calling on developed countries to increase their ODA commitments, noting that the emphasis should be on other forms of developmental finance.

With regard to OP20, we acknowledge that the term “illicit financial flows” has been utilized in prior resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and that the United States generally opposes its inclusion as it is a term with no agreed-upon international definition.  In the absence of any common understanding of what constitutes illicit financial flows, we should be clearer about the specific underlying illegal activities that produce or contribute to this threat, such as embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, other corrupt practices, or other crimes.

Regarding OP21 and its reference to target 17.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the United States recognizes that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of goals and targets, and that one of its targets for sustainable development is to “adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries.”  We reject the notion that the General Assembly, as a body, decided to adopt and implement investment promotion regimes.

The United States notes that the terms “adequate” and “predictable” in OP25, have no agreed-upon international definition.  In the absence of any common understanding of what constitutes adequate and predictable, we should use more inclusive terms that better reflects finance sourced from both the public and private sector.

Finally, we refer you to our national statement delivered on November 21st 2019 to the 74th General Assembly Second Committee session, which addresses our concerns regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, climate change, reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and characterizations of inclusive economic growth, trade, and technology transfer.

Thank you.