Germany and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Germany is committed to promoting sustainable economic growth and fostering social environments conducive to improving living standards around the globe. As a member of the Economic and Social Council, Germany plays an important role in finding solutions to current problems.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the six main organs of the United Nations. It controls 29 commissions and numerous specialized agencies, or over 70% of the human and financial resources of the UN. In addition, over 2300 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) submit expertise and recommendations to ECOSOC. As a forum for coordination between member states, UN agencies and civil society, it is growing increasingly important in today’s world of global interdependence.

The ECOSOC’s main focuses are:

-         promoting economic growth and adequate standards of living

-         finding solutions for economic, social and health problems

-         encouraging international cultural and educational exchange

-         upholding universal respect for human rights

The Council consists of 54 members, who are elected for three year terms. Germany has been represented in ECOSOC since 1974 (with the exception of 2008 and 2013), and is one of its longest standing members to date. As the third largest contributor to the regular UN budget, Germany has a big impact on the capacities of the Council.

 Since its inception, the workings of ECOSOC have been reviewed several times. In 2006, the General Assembly adopted resolution 61/16 on the “Strengthening of the Economic and Social Council”. The resolution expanded the Councils responsibilities to include humanitarian and peace-building issues, as well as establishing the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR).

 In view of recent developments in the world economy, Germany sees the need for close cooperation between countries, institutions and civil society in creating an overarching global framework of economic governance to address future crises more effectively. A stronger and improved ECOSOC could provide this framework.

 This is why Germany continues to be dedicated to improving the Council through reforms that will raise the profile of the organisation and enhance its working structure. The permanent mission is especially committed to a higher visibility of the council in order to encourage greater participation by all stakeholders.