Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the principal UN organ for the discussion and coordination of international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations for Member States and the UN system. Over 70% of the human and financial resources of the UN lie under its broad purview.
ECOSOC election procedures follow the General Assembly’s Rules of Procedure. Election requires a two-thirds majority and the largest number of votes. Members hold staggered terms of three years, and membership can be renewed immediately after it expires on December 31. Due to membership being renewable immediately after each term expires, with no limits, some states effectively have been able to hold near-permanent membership on the Council.
Longest-Standing ECOSOC Members
|Nation||Year Joined||Years on Council|
|Region||Total||Open in 2013|
|African States||14 seats||5 seats|
|Asian States||11 seats||3 seats|
|Eastern European States||6 seats||1 seat|
|Latin American and Caribbean States||10 seats||4 seats|
|Western European and other States||13 seats||5 seats|
Some Member States also serve on ECOSOC's array of commissions; they are elected by ECOSOC for three- or four-year terms.
18 November 2013
Today the General Assembly held an election to fill 4 ECOSOC seats. Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal were elected in a single secret ballot, to fill the unexpired term of office of Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, commencing 1 January 2014 and expiring on 31 December 2014 in the case of Ireland, Spain and Turkey and on 31 December 2015 in the case of the Netherlands. For more see the UN Press Release .
The full list of member states on ECOSOC for 2013 is available at the main ECOSOC website.
- "UN ECOSOC Members." (UN ECOSOC, 24 October 2011)
- “GA Adopts Resolution to Strengthen ECOSOC,” ReformtheUN.org: Latest Development Issue #157 (World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy, 29 November 2006)
- “The Reform of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): A Never-Ending Story?” by Jens Martens (World Economy & Development andGlobal Policy Forum, November 14, 2006)
- Compilation of documents and statements on ECOSOC reform from the lead-up period to the UN World Summit in 2005
- “Decisionmaking in the Economic and Social Council” by Walter R. Sharp, International Organization, Vol. 22, No. 4. (Autumn, 1968), pp. 881-901
- “The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations: An Issues Paper” by Gert Rosenthal, Dialogue on Globalization, Occasional Papers No. 15. February 2005.
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