United Nations Government Information
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), handles economic, social, cultural, human rights, and health matters. ECOSOC also has a coordinates work of the United Nations and the specialized agencies. It consists of 54 members, who are elected by the General Assembly. It has organizational sessions in the spring and a substantive sessions in July. The substantive sessons have five parts: high-level segment, operational activities segment, coordination segment, humanitarian affairs segment and general segment (See Rules of Procedure of the Economic and Social Council and Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs for further info on the operations of the Security Council). There is a set procedure to conduct business in this U.N. organ.
Other important items for ECOSOC
PROGRAMME OF WORK AND AGENDA
Programme of Work is a goal statement for two-year periods. The Agenda lists what is going to be discussed and major documentations that are scheduled to be submitted.
General summaries of what is said by who are given for each meeting of ECOSOC.
The major document type for the ECOSOC is the resolution, which describes the situation and the actions that will be taken, such as providing disaster relief. It is the will of the organization. A Decision, on the other hand, is the will of the organization about an internal affair affecting the U.N. only, such as elections or appointments.
Resolutions have a certain structure. They have a Preamble and Operative Part:
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
ECOSOC reports annually to the General Assembly
SUBSIDIARY AND AD HOC BODIES
Subsidiary and ad hoc bodies that report to ECOSOC, for example World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), and International Labour Organization (ILO). In the U.N. Organizational Chart , click on the body's name to be taken to its website. Many of these bodies have sessional reports that they submit to the ECOSOC, for example the Commission on Human Rights report number is E/CN.4/year , E/ICEF/year is UNICEF and the Division on Sustainable Development is E/CN.17/year.
Other Research Aids for ECOSOC
Official Documents of the U.N.: Advanced Search allows searches of all documents provided by the U.N. online. Use the Full-text search field to search for words in the text of the documents.
United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) has bibliographic records going back to 1979, and full-text back to 1992. However, they are constantly digitizing more older records. Use "e*" in UN Doc. Symbol field to search for ECOSOC Documents.
AccessUN , an index of U.N. material back to 1944, allows you to search by organ. If you put in ' e ' for Document Number , only ECOSOC documents will be retrieved. (See AccessUN instructions for more search information and Document Type for more information about U.N. documents).
Press Releases are a good source of basic information about U.N. activity. Search under ECOSOC in the Subject field. You can then delimit by keyword.
Documents Rearch Guide The U.N. has published online a very good and detailed research guide for the General Assembly.
Yearbook of the United Nations is an annual publication of the U.N. that gives a very good summary of the events and documents produced that year at the U.N.