Economic and Social Council Affairs Branch
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (see Chapter X of the Charter, articles 61-72) is the second of the charter organs for which conference management and technical secretariat support are provided. In accordance with the Charter, the Council studies international economic, social, cultural, and educational affairs, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and related matters. Its particular concern is international economic and social development. The Council consists of 54 members elected by the General Assembly and serving for a three-year term. It reports directly to the Assembly.
The Branch provides conference management to two of the Main Committees of the General Assembly: the Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters, and the Third Committee, which is concerned with social, humanitarian and cultural questions, and in particular human rights, as well as ad hoc committees of the Assembly concerned with economic, social and related matters and special conferences of the United Nations dealing with such topics.
Central to its work, as indicated in the title of the Branch, is ECOSOC, which meets annually in organizational and substantive sessions. In order to enhance the study of specific areas of concern, ECOSOC has created a system of subsidiary bodies, each of which has a separate mandate and membership. Among the subsidiary bodies for which the Branch provides conference management are the following:
- Commission for Social Development
- Commission on the Status of Women
- Commission on Sustainable Development
- Commission on Science and Technology for Development
- United Nations Forum on Forests
Each of these bodies reports to ECOSOC on its activities and provides recommendations with regard to its field of expertise. Many of those recommendations, in the form of draft resolutions or decisions, are forwarded by ECOSOC to the General Assembly for further deliberation and action.
The Branch also provides conference management and procedural advice to the intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
In addition, the Branch handles all matters regarding the elections of all subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC and other Council-related election processes, such as the election of ECOSOC members on the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission and of members of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which was established in 2010.