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The Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council Chamber was a gift from Sweden. It was conceived by the Swedish architect Sven Markelius, one of the 11 architects in the international team that designed the UN Headquarters. Swedish pine wood has been used around the delegates area, and for the railings and doors.

A special feature of the room are the exposed pipes and ducts in the ceiling above the public gallery. The architect believed that anything useful could be left uncovered. The "unfinished" ceiling is commonly seen as a symbolic reminder that the economic and social work of the United Nations never finishes; there will always be something more that can be done to improve the living conditions of the world's people.

The founders of the United Nations recognized that in order to have peace in the world, economic and social development and international cooperation was essential. The Charter gave the Economic and Social Council the task to work for economic and social progress and to promote universal respect for human rights. The Council coordinates the work of the United Nations system, which consists of over 30 programmes and specialized agencies.

More information on the Economic and Social Council

Copyright 2001 United Nations