Skip to Main Content
UN Library logo
Research Guides

UN Economic and Social Council Documentation

Economic and Social Council Documentation

UN Photo #738350 High-level Event on Supporting an Integrated, Prosperous, People-Centred and Peaceful Africa

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.

Under General Assembly resolution 68/1, ECOSOC shifted its work programme to a July-July cycle; it continues to hold one substantive and one organizational session per year. Its substantive session is divided into the following segments:

  • High-level segment
  • Operational activities for development segment
  • Humanitarian affairs segment
  • Integration segment

In addition to the above segments, the Council also holds coordination and management meetings and financing for development meetings during its substantive session.

The organizational session is now held in July; previously it was held in February.

The basic format for the symbols of ECOSOC documents is:

  • symbol pattern: E/year/sequential number
  • example: E/2016/100

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

Note on the increase in membership of Economic and Social Council

  • Article 61 of the Charter concerns membership
  • Originally 18 members
  • A/RES/1991 (XVIII) of 17 December 1963 recommended amending the Charter
    • Entered into force 31 August 1965
    • Increased membership to 27
  • A/RES/2847 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971 recommended amending the Charter
    • Entered into force 12 October 1973
    • Increased membership to 54