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THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS-FAQs

What is the mandate of the Economic and Social Council?
What are the new functions of the Economic and Social Council?
What is the objective of the Annual Ministerial Review?
What is the objective of the Development Cooperation Forum?
How is the work of the Economic and Social Council organized?
Who is the President of the Economic and Social Council?
What is the composition of the ECOSOC Bureau?
Where can I find the current membership?
Who has been President in the Past?
Where can I find the rules of procedure?
Where can I find information about subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council?
Where can I find the press releases and meetings coverage of ECOSOC?
Where can I find the ECOSOC resolutions, decisions and reports?
How to understand the United Nations documents symbols?
How to obtain NGOs consultative status with ECOSOC?

What is the mandate of the Economic and Social Council?
The functions and powers of the Economic and Social Council are stipulated in Chapter X of the Charter of the United Nations. The complete text of the UN Charter is accessible at: http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/index.html.

What are the new functions of the Economic and Social Council?
The 2005 World Summit ( A/RES/60/1 ) mandated the Economic and Social Council to convene Annual Ministerial Reviews (AMR) and biennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). These new functions were endorsed by the General Assembly in November 2006 ( A/RES/61/16 ).

What is the objective of the Annual Ministerial Review?
The objective of the AMR is to assess progress in achieving the internationally agreed development goals (IADGs) arising out of the major conferences and summits. It consists of an annual thematic review and national voluntary presentations on progress and challenges towards achieving the IADGs, including those contained in their national MDG-based development strategies.

What is the objective of the Development Cooperation Forum?
The objective of the DCF is to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of activities of different development partners. By reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation, the Forum is to provide policy guidance and recommendations to improve the quality and impact of development cooperation.

How is the work of the Economic and Social Council organized?
The Council holds several short sessions and many preparatory meetings, round tables and panel discussions with the members of civil society throughout the year, to deal with the organization of its work. It holds a four-week substantive session in July, alternating between New York and Geneva , which is organized in four segments (High-level, Coordination, Operational Activities, Humanitarian Affairs and General Segments). At the High-level Segment, national cabinet ministers and chiefs of international agencies and other high officials discuss major economic, social and environmental policy issues. A Ministerial declaration is generally adopted on the theme of the High-level Segment, which provides policy guidance and recommendations for action. The official languages of the Economic and Social Council are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The year-round work of the Council is carried out in its subsidiary and related bodies.

Where can I find the current membership?
ECOSOC has 54 member Governments which are elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with fourteen allocated to African States, eleven to Asian States, six to Eastern European States, ten to Latin American and Caribbean States, and thirteen to Western European and other States. The current membership is posted at the ECOSOC Members page.

Who is the President of the Economic and Social Council?
The presidency changes at the beginning of every year. Information about the current President, H.E. Néstor Osorio (Colombia), is posted at the ECOSOC Prisident's page.

What is the composition of the ECOSOC Bureau?
The Bureau of ECOSOC includes one Government from each of five world regions – Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, East Europe, and West Europe and the other developed countries. Each year, a representative from a different region is chosen to head the Council as its President. Information about the ECOSOC Bureau for 2013 is posted.

Who has been President in the Past?
From 1946 to 2012, the Economic and Social Council has elected 68 Presidents.

Where can I find the rules of procedure?
The rules of procedure are posted.

Where can I find information about subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council?
Information about subsidiary bodies (e. g., ECOSOC Functional Commissions, ECOSOC Regional Commissions, ECOSOC Standing Committees) is posted.

Where can I find the press releases and meetings coverage of ECOSOC?
ECOSOC press releases and meetings coverage are available on the UN website.

Where can I find the ECOSOC resolutions, decisions and reports?
The ECOSOC resolutions and decisions are posted. The ECOSOC reports are also posted. Other official documents could be found on the Official Document System of the United Nations (ODS) website or on the United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISnet).

How to understand the United Nations documents symbols?
Information on United Nations documents symbols is available.

How to obtain NGOs consultative status with ECOSOC?
The Council consults with civil society groups – including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and is the main body that recommends consultative status to NGOs. Over 2,869 NGOs from around the world now enjoy consultative status with ECOSOC. The organizations are allowed to participate, present written contribution and make statements to the Council and its subsidiary bodies. Information about NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC is available.

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