THE UNITED NATIONS
(New World Order)
UN Economic and
Social Council Chambers
(UN Headquarters, New York City)
The Official Story
UN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
(Global Economic and Social Affairs)
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the fifteen specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions, and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.
ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations System. It has 54 members. In addition to a rotating membership of 54 UN member states, over 1,600 nongovernmental organizations have consultative status with the Council to participate in the work of the United Nations.
ECOSOC holds one four-week session each year in July, and since 1998 has also held an annual meeting in April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Additionally, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which reviews the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is convened under the auspices of the Council every July.
The Economic and Social Council Chamber in the United Nations Conference Building was a gift from Sweden. It was conceived by Swedish architect Sven Markelius, one of the 11 architects in the international team that designed the UN headquarters. Wood from Swedish pine trees was used in the delegates’ area for the railings and doors.
The pipes and ducts in the ceiling above the public gallery were deliberately left exposed; the architect believed that anything useful could be left uncovered. The “unfinished” ceiling is a symbolic reminder that the economic and social work of the United Nations is never finished; there will always be something more that can be done to improve living conditions for the world’s people.