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The Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health
in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/HRC/35/L.18)
June 23, 2017

Explanation of Position by the United States of America,
as delivered by Jason Mack.

UN Human Rights Council – 35th Session
Geneva, June 23, 2017

The United States greatly appreciates the extensive consultations conducted by Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Paraguay, and Thailand on this resolution and will join consensus on it.

However, the United States disassociates from the reference to technology transfer in operational paragraph 9.  For the United States, this language will have no standing in future negotiations.  The United States continues to oppose language that we believe undermines intellectual property rights.

With respect to the High Commissioner for Human Rights report called for under operational paragraph 13, the United States would like to express disappointment.  We are concerned with the report’s focus on the “contributions of the right to health framework to the effective implementation and achievement of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.”  We do not see this as an appropriate task and responsibility for the High Commissioner, and we do not wish to frame the SDGs in a “right to health framework” when there is no “right to health framework” language in the SDGs themselves.  We encourage governments and public institutions to work closely on implementation with regional and local authorities, subregional institutions, international institutions, academia, philanthropic organizations, volunteer groups, and others, as appropriate.  Furthermore, we note that certain recent UN reports have put forward a flawed understanding on issues of healthcare access, particularly with respect to access to medicines, and have generated divisiveness among Member States and the UN.  We strongly urge the UN to consider a new approach to analyzing healthcare that seeks to unite all of the parties responsible for delivering critical healthcare solutions to patients around the world.  To this end, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines should not be used as a model for this new work.

The United States would also like to note that we were pleased to see language specifically addressing persons with psychosocial disabilities in this text and continue to support the work that the Special Rapporteur does to advance the human rights of all persons with disabilities.

Other concerns regarding this resolution will be addressed in the United States’ statement which will be delivered at the end of Item 3.