The General Assembly today elected 18 members to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) starting on 1 January 2006.
Angola, Austria, Benin, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritania, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Turkey will serve three-year terms.
They will fill the seats being vacated by Azerbaijan, Benin, the Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain and Turkey.
ECOSOC has a total of 54 members. The others continuing their terms are Albania, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chad, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and the United States.
Established by the UN Charter, ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the UN system.
It is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Among its functions, ECOSOC initiates studies and reports on these issues and organizes major international conferences on issues under its mandate. The Council's broad purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system.