UN Commission on Population and Development 52nd Session, U.S. Explanation of Position

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
April 1, 2019


Mr. Chairman, the United States appreciates your extensive consultations with all regional member state groups in the lead up to the Commission. Your leadership in preparing a concise declaration to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), in lieu of negotiating a resolution which would have likely expanded to include contentious topics, has allowed us to reach a consensus this year.

While we will share further thoughts in our national statement later, I wanted to take this opportunity to make important points of clarification on language in the declaration related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ICPD Programme of Action.

We underscore that the 2030 Agenda is non-binding and does not create or affect rights or obligations under international law, nor does it create any new financial commitments. The United States recognizes the 2030 Agenda as a global framework for sustainable development that can help countries work toward global peace and prosperity. We applaud the call for shared responsibility, including national responsibility, in the 2030 Agenda and emphasize that all countries have a role to play in achieving its vision. The 2030 Agenda recognizes that each country must work toward implementation in accordance with its own national policies and priorities.

The United States also underscores that paragraph 18 of the 2030 Agenda calls for countries to implement the Agenda in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law. We also highlight our mutual recognition in paragraph 58 that 2030 Agenda implementation must respect and be without prejudice to the independent mandates of other processes and institutions, including negotiations, and does not prejudge or serve as precedent for decisions and actions underway in other forums. For example, this Agenda does not represent a commitment to provide new market access for goods or services. This Agenda also does not interpret or alter any WTO agreement or decision, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.

And with respect to the ICPD Programme of Action, my government fully supports maternal and child health and informed and voluntary access to family planning. We have stated clearly and on many occasions, consistent with the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action and its report, as adopted by the General Assembly, that we do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support provision, promotion, or referral for abortion in our global health assistance.

Thank you.