United Nations Economic and Social Council chamber at United Nations headquarters
|Type||Principal organ of the United Nations|
|Headquarters||New York, United States|
| President |
African States (14)
Asia-Pacific States (11)
Eastern European States (6)
Latin American and Caribbean States (10)
Western European and Other States (13)
|United Nations System|
|United Nations Secretariat|
|United Nations General Assembly|
|International Court of Justice|
|United Nations Security Council|
|United Nations Economic and Social Council|
|United Nations Trusteeship Council|
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC; French : Conseil économique et social des Nations unies, CESNU) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organisation, specifically in regards to the 15 specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.
The Council serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system.A number of non-governmental organisations have been granted consultative status to the Council to participate in the work of the United Nations.
The consultative status is a phrase whose use can be traced to the founding of the United Nations and is used within the UN community to refer to "Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council". Also some international organizations could grant Consultative Status to NGOs. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) could grant Consultative Status in the form of "Researcher-in-residence programme" : accredited representatives of national and international NGOs are granted access to all records and to numerous topical compilations related to OSCE field activities.
It holds one four-week session each year in July, and since 1998, it has also held an annual meeting in April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and most well-known development bank in the world and is an observer at the United Nations Development Group. The bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to "developing" and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year. The bank's stated mission is to achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity. Total lending as of 2015 for the last 10 years through Development Policy Financing was approximately $117 billion. Its five organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The first two are sometimes collectively referred to as the World Bank.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), also known as the Fund, is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world while periodically depending on World Bank for its resources. Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion.
The president of the Council is elected for a one-year term and chosen from the small- or mid-sized powers represented on the Council at the beginning of each new session.The presidency rotates among the United Nations Regional Groups to ensure equal representation.
The United Nations Regional Groups are the geopolitical regional groups of member states of the United Nations. Originally, UN member states were unofficially grouped into five geopolitical regional groups. What began as an informal means of sharing the distribution of posts for General Assembly committees has taken on a much more expansive role. Many UN bodies are allocated on the basis of geographical representation. Top leadership positions, including Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly, are rotated among the regional groups. The groups also coordinate substantive policy and form common fronts for negotiations and bloc voting.
Ambassador Inga Rhonda King of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was elected as the seventy-fourth President of the Economic and Social Council on 26 July 2018.
Inga Rhonda King is a Saint Vincent and the Grenadines accountant, teacher and publisher who has served as the country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since September 2013.
The Council consists of 54 Members States, which are elected yearly by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on the Council are allocated ensuring equitable geographic rotation among the United Nations regional groups, with 14 being allocated to the African Group, 11 to the Asia-Pacific Group, 6 to the Eastern European Group, 10 to the Latin American and Caribbean Group and 13 to the Western European and Others Group.
The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions. It has also established numerous subsidiary organs.
The Group of African States, or African Group, is one of the five United Nations regional groups and is composed of 54 Member States from the African continent. The African Group is the largest regional group, and compose 28% of all United Nations members
The Eastern European Group (EEG), also known as Countries with Economies in Transition (CEIT), is one of the five unofficial Regional Groups in the United Nations that act as voting blocs and negotiation forums. Regional voting blocs were formed in 1961 to encourage voting to various UN bodies from regional groups. The group consists of countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltics, Central Europe, and the Caucasus, which form the area of the former Eastern Bloc. Europe is divided between the EEG and the Western European and Others Group. The group currently has 23 members.
|Term||African States (14)||Asian States (11)|| Eastern European |
| Latin American & |
Caribbean States (10)
| Western European & |
Other States (13)
|2019 - 2021|
|2018 - 2020|
|2017 - 2019|
Participation on a continuing basis:
Participation on an ad hoc basis:
The following are the active functional commission of the Council:
The following commissions were disbanded by the Council and replaced by other bodies:
The specialised agencies of the United Nations are autonomous organisations working within the United Nations System, meaning that while they report their activities to the Economic and Social Council, they are mostly free to their own devices. Each individual agency must negotiate with the Council as to what their relationship will look and work like. This leads to a system where different organisations maintain different types of relationships with the Council.Some were created before the United Nations existed and were integrated into the system, others were created by the League of Nations and were integrated by its successor, while others were created by the United Nations itself to meet emerging needs.
The following is a list of the specialized agencies reporting to the Council:
In a report issued in early July 2011, the UN called for spending nearly US$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".
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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). These "Annual Ministerial Reviews" will be replaced by the High Level Political Forum from 2016 onwards after the new post-MDG/post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals are agreed.
Subsequent proposals by the High-Level Panel Report on System-Wide Coherence in November 2006 aimed to establish a forum within the ECOSOC as a counter-model to the exclusive clubs of the G8 and G20. The Forum was to comprise 27 heads of states (L27, corresponding to half of ECOSOC's membership) to meet annually and provide international leadership in the development area. This proposal, however, was not approved by the General Assembly.
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 International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is an international organization bringing together more than 1,300 LGBTI groups from around the world. It continues to be active in campaigning for LGBTQ rights and intersex human rights on the international human rights and civil rights scene, and regularly petitions the United Nations and governments. They are represented in 140+ countries across the world, and are accredited by the United Nations for NGO Ecosoc consultative status.
The United Nations System consists of the United Nations, and the six principal organs of the United Nations: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat, specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations. The executive heads of some of the United Nations System organizations and the World Trade Organization, which is not formally part of the United Nations System, have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB). This body, chaired by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets twice a year to co-ordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System.
The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was a body under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) tasked with overseeing the outcomes of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development/Earth Summit. It was replaced in 2013 by the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which meets both under the General Assembly every four years and the ECOSOC in other years.
The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) was founded in 1946 as a Federation of national associations. Its obectives are to promote the values of the UN Charter, defend multilateralism, work towards a better United Nations Organisation and raise awareness on the main pillars of work of the United Nations - peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is the UN's central coordinating body for matters relating to the concerns and rights of the world's indigenous peoples. "Indigenous person" means native, original, first people and aboriginal. There are more than 370 million indigenous people in some 70 countries worldwide. The forum is an advisory body within the framework of the United Nations System that reports to the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The first indigenous to be elected to office at a United Nations meeting was Chief Ted Moses of the Grand Council of the Crees in Canada, in 1989.
OutRight Action International (OutRight) is a LGBTIQ human rights non-governmental organization that addresses human rights violations and abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, and transgender people. OutRight Action International documents human rights discrimination and abuses based on their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in partnership with activists, advocates, media, NGOs and allies on a local, regional, national and international level. OutRight Action International holds consultative status with ECOSOC.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), previously the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), is a consortium of 36 United Nations funds, programs, specialized agencies, departments and offices that play a role in development. It was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in order to improve the effectiveness of United Nations development activities at the country level.
The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) is a high-level intergovernmental policy forum. The forum includes all United Nations Member States and Permanent Observers, the UNFF Secretariat, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, Regional Organizations and Processes and Major Groups.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges. It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York (NGO/CSW/NY) is one of three women’s committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO). Established in 1972, it provides an open forum for women’s voices to be heard at the United Nations. The NGO/CSW/NY assists girls and women of all ages to advocate and organize for the implementation of global agreements, including the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies, Beijing Platform for Action, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the Millennium Development Goals and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The committee works in cooperation with the NGO Committees on the Status of Women in Geneva and Vienna.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led, informal and non-binding process, which helps shape the global debate on migration and development. It provides a flexible, multi-stakeholder space where governments can discuss the multi-dimensional aspects, opportunities and challenges related to migration, development, and the link between these two areas. The GFMD process allows governments - in partnership with civil society, the private sector, the UN system, and other relevant stakeholders – to analyze and discuss sensitive issues, create consensus, pose innovative solutions, and share policy and practices.
The International Federation on Ageing is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1973 and based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada working in the field of ageing, older persons and ageing-related issues such as ageism, The intent of the organisation is for NGOs, the corporate sector, academia, government, and individuals working together to make, according to the IFA’s mission statement, a "change for older people throughout the world by stimulating, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on rights, policies and practices that improve the quality of life of people as they age". The IFA has General Consultative Status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER) is based in Vienna, Austria and is a non-profit, non-governmental global network that focuses on building partnerships and identifying trends in a global context and in addressing key future-oriented issues in areas of sustainability, innovation, communication, environment, energy and mobility.
The Republic of Kazakhstan became a member of the UN on March 2, 1992. Membership in the international organization has given Kazakhstan, in the context of globalization, the opportunity to participate fully in international cooperation and solving international problems of a political, economic, environmental, social, cultural and humanitarian character.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda was the outcome of the 2015 Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was adopted by heads of state and government on 15 July 2015. 174 United Nations member states sent delegations; 28 heads of State, vice presidents and heads of government attended. Governments were joined by the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), prominent business and civil society leaders, and other stakeholders. The agreement is a follow-up to the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development.
ABANTU for Development is an international women's non-governmental organisation. It seeks to empower African women in the fields of politics and the economy on the local, national, regional and international levels. It pursues these goals by educating through workshops, research, publishing and consultations. ABANTU attracts international attention through its offices in London, where it was founded in 1991 by African women. Its other offices are in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria. ABANTU has a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
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