United Nations Economic and Social Council
The room of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. UN headquarters, New York
|Org type||Primary Organ|
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (French: Le Conseil économique et social des Nations unies; CÉSNU) constitutes one of the principal organs of the United Nations. It is responsible for coordinating the economic, social and related work of 14 UN specialized agencies, their functional commissions and five regional commissions. ECOSOC has 54 members; it holds a four-week session each year in July. Since 1998, it has also held a meeting each April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system. A number of non-governmental organizations are granted Consultative Status to the Council.
The Economic and Social Council Chamber in the United Nations Conference Building was a gift from Sweden. It was conceived by Swedish architect Sven Markelius, one of the 11 architects in the international team that designed the UN headquarters. Wood from Swedish pine trees was used in the delegates' area for the railings and doors. The pipes and ducts in the ceiling above the public gallery were deliberately left exposed; the architect believed that anything useful could be left uncovered. The "unfinished" ceiling is a symbolic reminder that the economic and social work of the United Nations is never finished; there will always be something more which can be done to improve living conditions for the world's people.
The current president of ECOSOC is Ambassador Néstor Osorio Londoño of the Republic of Colombia. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen from the small or mid-sized powers represented on ECOSOC.
The Council has 54 member states, which are elected by the United Nations General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on the Council are based on geographical representation with 14 allocated to African states, 11 to Asian states, 6 to East European states, 10 to Latin American and Caribbean states and 13 to West European and other states.
Participation on a continuing basis:
- African Regional Centre of Technology
- Asian and Pacific Development Centre
- Asian Productivity Organization
- Council of Arab Economic Unity
- Global Water Partnership
- Helsinki Commission
- Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
- Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development
- Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition
- International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions
- International Center for Public Enterprises in Developing Countries
- International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
- Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- Latin American Energy Organization
- Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture
- Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
- Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment
- Union Des Conseils Economiques Et Sociaux Africains
- West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
- World Deserts Foundation
- World Tourism Organization
Participation on an ad hoc basis:
- African Accounting Council
- African Cultural Institute
- Arab Security Studies and Training Center
- Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior
- International Bauxite Association
- International Civil Defence Organisation
- Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences
- UN Commission for Social Development
- UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR): Disbanded 2006, replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.
- Commission on Narcotic Drugs
- Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
- Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)
- Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
- UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW)
- Commission on Population and Development
- UN Statistical Commission
- United Nations Forum on Forests
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
- United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
- United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
These specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other inter alia through the coordinating machinery of the Economic and Social Council.
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Bank Group
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS)
- International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
- Financing for Development, the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration.
- Development Cooperation Forum
- United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
- Sessional and Standing Committees Expert, ad hoc and related bodies
- United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
"World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation"
In a report issued in early July 2011, the UN called for spending nearly USD 2 trillion on green technologies to prevent what it termed “a major planetary catastrophe”, warning that "It is rapidly expanding energy use, mainly driven by fossil fuels, that explains why humanity is on the verge of breaching planetary sustainability boundaries through global warming, biodiversity loss, and disturbance of the nitrogen-cycle balance and other measures of the sustainability of the earth’s ecosystem”. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added, “Rather than viewing growth and sustainability as competing goals on a collision course, we must see them as complementary and mutually supportive imperatives". The report concluded that "Business as usual is not an option".
Reform of the Economic and Social Council
Governance of the multilateral system has historically been complex and fragmented. This has limited the capacity of ECOSOC to influence international policies in trade, finance and investment. Reform proposals aim to enhance the relevance and contribution of the council. A major reform was approved by the 2005 World Summit on the basis of proposals submitted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Summit aimed to establish ECOSOC as a quality platform for high-level engagement among member states and with international financial institutions, the private sector and civil society on global trends, policies and action. It was decided to hold biennial high-level Development Cooperation Forums at the national-leadership level by transforming the high-level segment of the Council to review trends in international development cooperation and promote greater coherence in development activities. At the Summit it was also decided to hold annual ministerial-level substantive reviews to assess progress in achieving internationally-agreed development goals (particularly the Millennium Development Goals). Subsequent proposals by the High-Level Panel Report on System-Wide Coherence in November 2006 aimed to establish a forum within ECOSOC as a counter-model to the exclusive clubs of the G8 and G20. The Forum was to comprise 27 heads of state (L27, corresponding to half of the ECOSOC membership) to meet annually and provide international leadership in the development area. This proposal, however, was not approved by the General Assembly.
- Consultative Status
- List of organizations with consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- Copenhagen Consensus
- French Economic and Social Council
- European Economic and Social Committee (EU)
- International Court of Justice
- International Hydrological Programme
- UN General Assembly
- UN Secretariat
- UN Security Council
- UN Trusteeship Council
- UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- Union of International Associations
- United Nations System
- "ECOSOC: President: Welcome". United Nations. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- "Background Information". UN Economic and Social Council.
- UN website.
- "ECOSOC: UN ECOSOC Members". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- ECOSOC observers, Part V
- "The World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation'". Thaindian News. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Ian Williams, "Annan has paid his dues". The Guardian, 19 September 2005
- United Nations Economic and Social Council
- United Nations Economic and Social Development page
- United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- Congo – Conference of UN NGO's
- Global Policy Forum – Social and Economic Policy at the UN
- United Nations
- http://www.un.org/french/pubs/chronique/2006/numero1/0106p54.htm "The Group of Eight, ECOSOC and the Constitutional Paradox"