Explanation of Vote by John F. Sammis, United States Deputy Representative to ECOSOC, on L.47 - Right to Development, in the Third Committee of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

John F. Sammis
United States Deputy Representative to ECOSOC 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 19, 2009


Thank you, Mr. Chair.  The United States has a long-standing commitment to support development.  In addressing this 64th session of the General Assembly, President Obama, spoke of developing a global economy that advances opportunity for all people as one of the four pillars that must fortify our future.  He pledged to “integrate more economies into a system of global trade” and to “support the Millennium Development Goals”, “setting our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time”. 

These objectives align closely with the broader thrust of this resolution on the right to development.  Notwithstanding, the United States must call a vote, as we do not believe the current text of the resolution reflects a genuine consensus on how best to achieve these goals.  We will be voting no.  In particular, at this time, we do not consider it appropriate for any criteria related to the right to development to evolve into a basis for consideration of an international legal standard of a binding nature.  We also have concerns about this resolution’s numerous extraneous statements about topics that have little to do with the right to development, such as international governance, globalization, WTO negotiations, and indigenous peoples. 

Nonetheless, we welcome the contribution of the Independent Expert on the Right to Development and the High Level Task Force and look forward to continuing our engagement as the Task Force moves to elaborate the right to development criteria and corresponding operational sub-criteria.  These tools, aimed at strengthening development practice, may be shaped and utilized through a process of genuine consensus to underpin our common purpose on this vital issue.

I thank you Mr. Chair.


PRN: 2009/277