Explanation of Position on A/C.3/72/L.15/Rev.1 on Policies and Programmes Involving Youth

Mordica Simpson
ECOSOC Advisor
United States
New York City
November 17, 2017

AS DELIVERED

The United States wishes to express our thanks to the delegations of the Republic of Moldova, Portugal, and Senegal for their efforts as the main sponsors and facilitators of the resolution.

We regret, however, that we must dissociate from paragraph 8 to the extent that it could promote technology transfer that is not mutually agreed and voluntary. For the United States, any such language will have no standing in future negotiations. The United States continues to oppose language that we believe undermines intellectual property rights.

We are disappointed by the reference to issues regarding foreign occupation, which we believe unnecessarily politicizes the resolution. In connection with the reference to foreign occupation, the United States reaffirms its deep commitment to pursuing a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The United States remains committed to supporting the Palestinian people in practical and effective ways.

We are also disappointed that this resolution does not address the importance of youth policies and programs to account for the essential role of youth as partners to counter violent extremism. The UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE) includes “empowering youth” as one of seven priority areas and encourages Member States to: support and enhance young women’s and young men’s participation in PVE; integrate them into decision-making processes at local and national levels; foster trust between decision-makers and youth; establish national mentoring programs for youth and ensure that a portion of all funds dedicated to addressing violent extremism are committed to projects that address the needs of youth.” We would encourage Member States to implement these recommendations wherever possible.

The United States is firmly committed to providing equal access to education at all levels. We interpret this resolution’s references to obligations as applicable only to the extent that States have assumed such obligations, and with respect to States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in light of its Article 2(1). The United States is neither a party to that Covenant nor to its Optional Protocol, and the rights contained therein are not justiciable as such in U.S. courts. We read this resolution to urge States to comply with their applicable international obligations. Moreover, we disagree with the resolution to the extent that it calls on States to develop or strengthen specific curriculum or education programs, training, or services. In the United States, this is done as appropriate and in terms consistent with our respective federal, state, and local authorities, as educational matters are primarily determined at the state and local levels.

Additionally, we are disappointed that the resolution also inaccurately represents that times of crisis in labor markets are directly attributable to climate change and otherwise oversimplifies the causal factors for increased vulnerabilities and inequalities with implications for the well-being of youth. We note that labor markets are complex, multifactorial systems, and, when crises occur, they are primarily driven by non-climate processes, including demographic, economic, and governance issues. While climate change may theoretically increase vulnerabilities and affect processes that may stress labor markets in the future, at this time it is not possible to specifically attribute observable impacts to climate change.”

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