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The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), established in 1945, represents one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Council serves as the main forum for discussion of international economic, social, cultural and health issues, as well as human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also coordinates the work of the 14 United Nations specialized agencies, 9 functional as well as 5 regional commissions. The Council holds regular meetings with prominent academics, business sector representatives and more than 3,200 non-governmental organizations, of which majority (2,869) have a consultative status.


The Council consists of the fifty-four Members of the United Nations (, elected by the General Assembly, and based on the geographical representation. According to the UN Charter (Articles 61&67) each member shall have one vote. Any Member of the United Nations can participate without the right to vote, if the matter considered is of a particular interest for that particular country. In addition, representatives of the specialized agencies can also participate without the right to vote, if their presence is necessary. The president of the Council changes at the beginning of every year and each year comes from a different region ( The substantive session takes place in July, either in New York (even years) or in Geneva (odd years).

Under the UN Charter (Chapter X) the main functions and powers of the Economic and Social Council are:
• To make or initiate studies and reports with respect to international economic, social, cultural, health and other related matters and may also make recommendations with respect to such matters to the General Assembly (Article 62.1). These include:
• Promotion of the higher standards of living
• Promotion of the full employment and economic and social progress
• Advanced solutions to international economic, social and health-related problems
• Encouragement of the international cultural and educational cooperation
• To make recommendations which promote respect and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms (Article 62.2)
• May prepare drafts of conventions for submission to the General Assembly regarding the matters of its competence (Article 62.3)
• To hold Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and Development Cooperation Forum (DCF)

Hot Topics:

  • • Strengthening of ECOSOC
    •  Sustainable Development
    • Millennium Development Goals - Post-2015
    • Financing for Development
    • Science, Technology and Innovation
    •  Peace building and Post-conflict Recovery



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