UN Documentation: Economic and Social Council

Economic and Social Council Documentation

LEFT:  A girl at the Mother and Child Health Center in Mogadishu, Somalia, during a visit by Zainab Bangura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The SRSG also visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and women’s shelters as part of her visit to Somalia. 02 April 2013. Mogadishu, Somalia. RIGHT: The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a panel discussion on 'Partnerships for effective humanitarian assistance in support of national, regional and international efforts'. Valerie Amos (left), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, speaks at the event. 20 July 2012. United Nations, New York

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) deals with economic, social, cultural and health matters as well as human rights and fundamental freedoms.  It also coordinates the work of the UN and the specialized agencies.

Chapter X, Articles 61-72, of the UN Charter concern ECOSOC.

ECOSOC consists of 54 members, 18 of which are elected each year by the General Assembly for a three-year term.

The Rules of Procedure of the Economic and Social Council are contained in document E/5715/Rev.2 (Sales number 92.I.22). Background information about the work of the Council can be retrieved from the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs.

The ECOSOC currently holds an organizational session in the spring and a substantive session in July. The substantive session is convened alternately in New York (even years) and Geneva (odd years) and is divided into: 

  • High-level segment
  • Operational activities segment
  • Coordination segment
  • Humanitarian affairs segment 
  • General segment

The basic format for the symbols of ECOSOC documents is:

  • symbol pattern: E/year/sequential number
  • example: E/2014/100

From 1946 to 1977, the symbol pattern was E/sequential number:

Economic and Social Council