Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 19, 2022, 13:13

The Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] is a part of the United Nations. The United Nations has many sub-organisations and associated agencies for research, training, supervision, and other activities. ECOSOC is one of the six principal organs of the UN. ECOSOC is responsible for social and economic issues in its specialised agencies, regional commissions, and functional commissions. International issues related to the social/economic field are discussed by ECOSOC. From forming policies to making recommendations, ECOSOC is responsible for many deeds.

Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] has been in the news lately in India due to recent developments. On the 14th of September 2020, India joined the UNCSW (UN Commission on Status of Women) till 2025. UNCSW is an important body of ECOSOC, and India became its member. Afghanistan was elected as a member of UNCSW on the same date as India. However, our neighbouring country China failed to win a seat at UNCSW. Read on to know more about the significance of ECOSOC at present.

Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] Characteristics

Headquartered in New York, ECOSOC is primarily concerned with economic, social, and environmental issues around the globe. The main characteristics of ECOSOC are as follows -

  • Any social, economic, or environmental activity within the UN or specialised agencies will be centrally monitored by ECOSOC.
  • ECOSOC acts as a platform to encourage dialogue, debate, and innovation in the UN. ECOSOC focuses on forming a consensus for plans to attain a common goal.
  • The follow-up to major summits and conferences of the UN is done by ECOSOC. Incorporated in 1945, ECOSOC is concerned with issues all across the globe.

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Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] Roles

The role of ECOSOC in the UN system is as follows -

  • There are many sub-organisations and specialised agencies under the UN. The Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] acts as a link between organisations and conventions under the UN.
  • Economic, social, and environmental fields form the pillar of sustainable development. ECOSOC aims at achieving a balance between the three pillars of sustainable development.
  • ECOSOC is the gateway to UN participation and helps identify current challenges. ECOSOC is also responsible for bringing innovation to the world.
  • ECOSOC is a central meeting junction for leaders, influencers, youth, academicians, and policymakers from all parts of the world.

Every year, the UN holds an HLPF (High-Level Political Forum) under the banner of the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]. The goal of HLPF is to review the progress of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). HLPF encourages ECOSOC members to review the state of sustainable development in their respective countries.

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Functions of Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]

The areas of function for the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] are as follows -




ECOSOC acts as a platform to promote sustainable development.


ECOSOC has an integration segment that helps the member countries with the three pillars of sustainable development.


The Development Cooperation Forum of ECOSOC reviews the latest trends and developments.


ECOSOC is involved in discussing humanitarian issues.


ECOSOC forms the QCPR that supports member countries in their developmental efforts.


ECOSOC provides coordination, oversight, and support to member countries.

Questions related to the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] are often asked in Indian competitive exams. Know more about ECOSOC and its functions!

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FAQs on Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]

Q1. Is our country a member of the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]?

In 2020, India became a member of UNCSW, which comes under the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] bodies.

Q2. Does the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] discuss health emergencies around the world?

Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] holds meetings to discuss health emergencies around the world.

Q3. Does the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] offer a youth forum?

Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] has a dedicated forum for hearing the voices of the youth.

Q4. When did the HLPF start, With regard to the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]?

With Regards to the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC], In 2013, the HLPF was first conducted to review the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).