The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was created under Article 7 of the United Nations Charter in 1945. It consists of 54 Member States, elected by the General Assembly for three year time. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with 14 allocated to African States, 11 to Asian States, 6 to Eastern European States, 13 to Western European and 10 to Latin America. USA, Russian Federation, UK, France and China are represented in a permanent basis.
ECOSOC coordinates the work of the 20 UN specialized agencies (for example, International Labour Organization ILO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO), 9 functional commissions (e.g., the Commission on Social Development, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice) 5 regional commissions, 4 Standing Committees and 1 Ad hoc Body (the Ad Hoc Open- ended Working Group on Informatics). It also receives reports from 14 UN funds and programs and issues policy recommendations to the UN system and the Member States.
ECOSOC consults with member states, other UN organs, academic institutions, NGOs and the business sector representatives in the observation and decision making processes.
It’s highest responsibilities are to promote better standards of living, full employment, economic and social progress, identification of solutions to the international economic, social and health problems, and to facilitate international cultural and educational cooperation. Its role in encouraging the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms was also remarkable.
ECOSOC’s contemporary role is considered to be highly crucial, by taking into consideration the efforts for a new economical order and for international social stability. Its role is also important since it constitutes the link between United Nations and specialized agencies.