Statement on Agenda Item 26 (a) ‘Violence Against Women Migrant Workers’

Jason Mack
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 19, 2019


With regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; the New Urban Agenda; economic, social, and cultural rights; the Beijing Women’s Conference, International Conference for Population and Development and their five-year follow-ups; the outcome documents of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration; and the New York Declaration, we have addressed our concerns in previous statements including in our general statement on November 7.

The United States understands that this resolution is non-binding, does not change the current state of conventional or customary international law, and does not change the territorial scope established in relevant conventions. It does imply that states must implement obligations under human rights instruments to which they are not a party. The United States does not understand this resolution to create any new human rights, particularly with respect to operative paragraph 12 and operative paragraph 20.

With regard to preambular paragraph 13, the United States notes that harassment, while condemnable, is not necessarily violent. Under U.S. law, the term violence refers to physical force or the threat of physical force.

With regard to operative paragraph 32, the US notes that individuals do not have a right to consular notification or access, rather, this right belongs to states.

The United States regrets the inclusion of a reference to the agreed conclusions of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in the text of this resolution. We recall the unequivocal objections of two delegations to the adoption of the so-called Agreed Conclusions of the 63rd meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which included substantive concerns the United States shared. Many of those same problems are endemic amongst Third Committee resolutions, including problematic references to abortion, the proliferation of ill-defined gender jargon, and the inclusion of language that undermines the role of the family. The United States does not consider the outcome documents from this year’s meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women to be the product of consensus.