Explanation of Vote on Item 9 at the ECOSOC General Segment in Geneva

Terri Robl
U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council 
New York, NY
July 25, 2013


The resolution just voted by the Council, despite minor modifications, is essentially the same as parallel resolutions that have been considered by ECOSOC since 2006, as its references to those previous resolutions make clear.

The United States abstained on this resolution.

We agree in principle that UN funds, programs, and specialized agencies can provide useful support to territories that are not UN members, provided that the domestic laws and policies of a territory’s administering power allow such UN support.

The responsibility for deciding the nature of the participation in the UN, if any, by non-self-governing territories, lies with the administering power. The United States Constitution rests the sole authority for the conduct of foreign relations, including the foreign relations of U.S. territories, with the federal government.

We are concerned that this resolution’s proposed language impermissibly infringes on these internal U.S. constitutional arrangements, and therefore we cannot support the resolution.


PRN: 2013/135