18 Newest Members of ECOSOC Elected - October 28

Background: ECOSOC

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the coordinating body for the economic and social work of UN agencies and funds.  It is the principle organ coordinating economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions.  With this purview, the council extends control over more than 70% of the UN’s revenue.  More specifically, ECOSOC provides policy recommendations for specific committees in regards to:

-Promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress;

-Identifying solutions to international, economic and social health problems;

-Facilitating international cultural and economic cooperation, and;

-Encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Council's 54 member Governments are elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with fourteen allocated to African States, eleven to Asian States, six to Eastern European States, ten to Latin American and Caribbean States, and thirteen to Western European and other States.  Every year, new members are elected to serve on ECOSOC, coinciding with the Security Council elections.


Strengthening ECOSOC

Since ECOSOC’s founding, there have been numerous proposals for strengthening the council.  In 1975 and 1988, the Council responded to such resolutions by expanding its member base and enacting stronger policies.  Membership of ECOSOC gives member-states the power the vote on UN revenue allocation. Today, ECOSOC is made up of 54 member governments, each with overlapping three-year terms.


October 24, 2011 Elections

 On October 24, 2011, the UN General Assembly voted for 18 new members of ECOSOC.  The new members elected were Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Lesotho, Libya, Nigeria, Spain, and Turkey.  These new members will begin their three-year terms on the council January 1, 2012.  

 The incoming members are replacing Cote d'Ivoire, Estonia,Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Venezuela. France, Germany, Spain, India, and Japan have all retained their seats on the Council for another term.