-The Preamble of the United Nations Charter declares that the people of the United Nations are determined to advance social progress and the standard of living.
Article 1 of the Charter provides that one of the main objectives of the United Nations is to obtain international cooperation in the solution of international problems relating to economic, social, cultural or human welfare and without regard to origin, race, sex, language or religion o promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without discrimination.
Thus the Economic and Social Council has been established in the Charter to fulfill the above mentioned objectives.
The Economic and Social Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations.
The provisions relating to the Economic and Social Council are contained in Article 61 to 72 of the Charter, which is described in Chapter-10.
The provisions relating to the constitution of the Economic and Social Council are mentioned in Article 61 of the Charter.
The Economic and Social Council consists of 54 members, who are elected by the ‘General Assembly’.
The original member strength of the Economic and Social Council was 18.
One third of the total members of the Economic and Social Council i.e. 18 members of the council are elected every year for a term of 3 years.
The members who are dismissed can be re-elected. Each member has one representative in the council.
Voting in the Economic and Social Council is simple and direct. Each member has one vote. All decisions are made by a simple majority of the members present and voting.
The Council may invite any member of the United Nations to take part in the discussions on a subject of special concern to that member, but such member shall not have the right to vote.
The Council performs the important task of promoting international cooperation in the economic and social sphere. as written below-
The Council may study and report on international economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related matters. It can make recommendations on any of such matters to the ‘General Assembly’ to the members of the United Nations and to ‘specialized agencies concerned’.
The Council may make recommendations for the purpose of promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons and for their observance. The Council may prepare draft conventions for presentation to the General Assembly in respect of the matters falling within its jurisdiction.
The Complex may convene international conferences on subjects within its jurisdiction, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the United Nations.
The Council may make arrangements with the members and agencies of the United Nations to receive reports on its recommendations and the steps taken to give effect to the recommendations of the General Assembly on subjects within its jurisdiction.
On receipt of the report, the Council may report its compliance to the General Assembly. The Council may also inform the Security Council and assist the Security Council at its request.
The Council is empowered by the Charter to carry out its functions, and to establish commissions, expert investigative bodies, on the subjects under its jurisdiction. It submits its report to the Council, which decides the next course of action.
The council has constituted four regional commissions –
This commission is
- Economic Commission for Europe
- Economic Commission for Asia and the sudur East
- Economic Commission for Africa
- Economic Commission for Latin America
Work relating to specialized agencies of the Council
Specialized agencies are inter-governmental organizations established to deal with specific international problems. The council has a special relationship with these organizations. The council has been given the power to perform many functions in relation to these agencies, which are as follows –
The Council may enter into agreements with agencies to establish their relationship with the United Nations. Such agreements need to be approved by the General Assembly.
The Council may co-ordinate the activities of specialized agencies in consultation with and recommend them and make recommendations to the General Assembly and to the members of the United Nations.
The Council may obtain regular reports from specialized agencies. It may arrange with members of the United Nations and specialized agencies to receive reports on its recommendations and the steps taken to give effect to the recommendations of the General Assembly on subjects within its jurisdiction.
The Charter provides that the Council may initiate negotiations with the concerned States for any new specialized agency, which it deems necessary to fulfill its social, economic and health and cultural objectives. The responsibility for taking steps to establish new specialized agencies rests in the General Assembly and in the Economic and Social Council under the authority of the General Assembly. The Economic and Social Council had convened an international conference of health authorities for the first time to establish the World Health Organization.
Economic and social council