- promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress;
- identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems;
- facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and
- encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It has the power to make or initiate studies and reports on these issues. It also has the power to assist the preparations and organization of major international conferences in the economic and social and related fields and to facilitate a coordinated follow-up to these conferences. With its broad mandate the Council’s purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system.
ECOSOC at work
In carrying out its mandate, ECOSOC consults with academics, business sector representatives and more than 3,200 registered non-governmental organizations. The Council holds a four-week substantive session each July, alternating between New York and Geneva. The session consists of the High-level Segment, Coordination Segment, Operational Activities Segment, Humanitarian Affairs Segment and the General Segment.
The High-level segment serves as a forum for Ministers and executive heads of international institutions and high-ranking officials, as well as civil society and private sector representatives to discuss key issues on the international agenda in the area of economic, social and environmental development. New features of the ECOSOC were mandated by the 2005 World Summit, namely the Annual Ministerial Review and the Development Cooperation Forum. At the end of the High-level segment, a Ministerial declaration is adopted, which provides policy guidance and recommendations for action.