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Hot Topics: The Economic and Social Council

Members of the Economic and Social Council during voting.

Each member state is elected to ECOSOC yearly by the General Assembly for overlapping 3-year terms. To ensure equal representation, a specific number of seats are allocated to UN regional groups. 11 seats are for the Asia-Pacific group, 14 for the African group, 6 to Eastern Europe, 10 to Latin America and the Caribbean, and 13 to Western Europe and Other States. 

Equal representation is very important to ECOSOC. The president of the body is chosen for a one year term and is selected from a small to medium-sized members, the presidency also rotates between UN regional groups. The 74th president was Inga Rhonda King of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and she was elected on 26 July 2018. The current president is Her Excellency, Mona Juul of Norway and she was elected 25 July 2019. 

ECOSOC strives to promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development. On Tuesday, 15 October, at the UN headquarters in New York ECOSOC had  a joint meeting with the Second Committee. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss nature-based solutions for sustainable development around the world. Experts with scientific, academic and policy-based backgrounds were invited to answer questions and present information to UN representatives. Information gathered at this meeting will be used to support the 2030 Development Agenda for sustainable development. 

In addition to promoting sustainable development, ECOSOC assists in financing sustainable development. At the third International Conference on Financing for Development global leaders and finance professionals worked together to build a framework to pay for sustainable development that aligns with the goals of ECOSOC. 

At the 2019 American Model United Nations conference, we will be simulating ECOSOC, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Commission on Criminal Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). Each committee will have two agenda topics. The topics for ECOSOC are strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all and situation of and assistance to Palestinian women. The topics of the ECA are women’s economic empowerment: boosting women’s entrepreneurship in Africa and enhancing the climate resilience of Africa’s infrastructure. Lastly, the topics of CCPCJ are preventing and combating trafficking in persons facilitated by the criminal misuse of information and communications technologies and taking action against gender-related killings of women and girls. If you are lucky enough to be in an ECOSOC committee, try to work with your fellow representatives to find sustainable solutions. 

On Tuesday, all three committees will join together for the ECOSOC Plenary session where the Economic Commission for Africa and the Commission on Criminal Prevention and Criminal Justice will present their findings and their report to the body. If you’re confused about what a report is, don’t worry. Here is an Accords article explaining the ins and outs of a report writing body. 

ECOSOC Plenary is the last step for a report writing body. In addition to the members of ECOSOC, all delegations in an ECOSOC functional or regional commission  will be present for the plenary session. Each committee will select representatives to present their reports to ECOSOC. This plenary session allows for representatives to hear what happened in other ECOSOC committees and interact with those representatives.

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