In this Statement, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights welcomes the decision of the Human Rights Council to draft an optional protocol to the Covenant, and further clarifies how it would apply the obligation under article 2, paragraph 1, “to take steps ... to the maximum of its available resources” to achieve progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the Covenant. The “availability of resources”, although an important qualifier to the obligation to take steps, does not alter the immediacy of the obligation, nor can resource constraints alone justify inaction. The phrase “to the maximum of its available resources" refers to both the resources existing within a State as well as those available from the international community through international cooperation and assistance. Where the Committee considers that a State party has not taken reasonable or adequate steps, it will make relevant recommendations to the State party. In line with the practice of other treaty bodies, the Committee will respect the margin of appreciation of the State party to determine the optimum use of its resources and to adopt national policies and prioritize certain resource demands over others.