U.S. Explanation of Vote Following Adoption of the Resolution on the ILO Budget for the 2024-2025 Biennium
111th Session of the International Labor Conference Plenary
As Delivered by Ambassador Bathsheba Crocker
Thank you, Mr. President.
I would like to deliver an explanation of vote on behalf of the Government of the United States.
Mr. President, the United States aligns with concerns expressed by IMEC that the requested budget increase was high in nominal terms, and we appreciate the Office’s efforts to identify additional budgetary efficiencies. We share the expectation that the Office will undertake necessary efforts to implement the Program and Budget for the coming biennium in a cost-effective manner.
The United States welcomes the consensus that has enabled us to adopt the Program and Budget today. This consensus was the product of long, and at times difficult discussions, and we appreciate the concerted engagement of government partners to ensure that we could adopt the budget for the good of the Organization.
That said, in light of the discussions in the Finance Committee this week, the United States would like to make clear our unequivocal support for the ILO’s uncontested and universally agreed mandate to promote the elimination of discrimination in employment for all workers as a fundamental right and principle at work.
The United States would like to state for the record our understanding that this mandate to promote the elimination of discrimination is inclusive of any grounds for discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.
The United States is committed to advancing the rights of all workers. This is a cornerstone of both our domestic and foreign policy. Respect for labor rights contributes to a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy. Workers both in our own country and around the world should be treated with dignity and respect. This includes taking efforts to protect all workers against discrimination based on race, disability, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation, and other forms of discrimination.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in June 2020, which held that the prohibition against sex discrimination in the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.
In the United States, we are making concerted strides to provide equal employment opportunity for LGBTQI+ workers, including through the Executive Order on Advancing Equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals, which was signed by President Biden on June 15, 2022.
A growing number of countries around the world, including my own, recognize discrimination on the basis of sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The ILO must continue to support constituents in their efforts to progressively eliminate discrimination on any grounds in the world of work, to ensure that all workers enjoy equal access to opportunity and that we are working together toward the progressive realization of a more socially just world.
This will require the ILO to continue to develop its research and expertise, to effectively advise and assist those constituents prioritizing the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.
The United States affirms that the ILO’s rights-based agenda—grounded in international labor standards and the promotion of all of the ILO’s fundamental principles and rights at work—is the cornerstone of its mandate and its comparative advantage.
Mr. President, with the adoption of the Programme and Budget for the 2024-2025 biennium today, it is the firm expectation of the United States government that the ILO will continue to deliver technical assistance to the ILO’s tripartite constituents in furtherance of its mandate to promote the elimination of discrimination in employment on all grounds.
Thank you, Mr. President.