Explanation of Position by Miriam Hughes, Deputy U.S.
Representative to ECOSOC, at the 39th Session of the
Commission on Population and Development, May 10, 2006
The United States is pleased
to join consensus on the two resolutions of the 39th
Session of the Commission on Population and Development with the
following Explanation of Position.
Mr. Chairman, immigration has played a very important
and defining role in shaping the history and success of the United
States. The United States believes that orderly migration,
when managed effectively, is a positive phenomenon for both
countries of origin and destination, as well as for the migrants
themselves. Migration is a complex issue, and the
international community has found past attempts to deal with this
subject at the international level to be extremely difficult.
This trend was further evidenced by this year’s CPD
deliberations on migration. The United States was disappointed
by the extended negotiations that were required to come to consensus
on the migration resolution. My delegation believes that the
value of resolutions produced by an ECOSOC functional commission
such as the CPD is diminished when meetings run over their allotted
Moreover, the extended and lengthy nature of the
discussions that were required over the past month to produce a
migration text highlight the very great difficulty the international
community faces in addressing the complex topic of migration at the
The International Conference on Population and
Development Programme of Action expresses important political goals
that the United States endorses. We reaffirm the goals and
objectives of the ICPD Programme of Action and the Key Actions for
Further Implementation of ICPD based on the following
We understand these documents constitute an important
policy framework that does not create international legal rights or
legally binding obligations on states under international law.
Our reaffirmation of the goals and objectives of these
documents does not constitute a change in the position of the United
States with respect to treaties we have not ratified.
The United States fully supports the principle of
voluntary choice regarding maternal and child health and family
planning. We have stated clearly and on many occasions,
consistent with the ICPD, that we do not recognize abortion as a
method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our
reproductive health assistance.
The United States interprets references within this
document to the Plan of Action of the World Conference against
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
(Durban, 2001) as only applying to the migration-related
The United States Government made no commitments at
the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
We request that this Explanation of Position be
included for the record in the report of this meeting.