The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is mandated to initiate measures that promote economic and social development in Western Asia, and strengthen the economic and social relations of the countries in the region, both among themselves and with other countries.
The Commission's programme focuses on managing four region-specific priority areas central to the Millennium Declaration:
Energy and water
Technology, with particular attention to information and communication technology.
Priority is given to the cross-cutting themes of gender mainstreaming, the special needs of Least Developed Countries and countries emerging from conflict.
The Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) was established under ECOSOC res. 1818 (LV) (1973). In 1985, the Commission was renamed the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) to reflect its expanded mandate to cover the social development field.
The biennial Commission session is the highest inter-governmental source of recommendations on development issues to the member governments. It advises ECOSOC of the consolidated views of member governments on issues significant to economic and social development at the global level. The Commission sessions facilitate policy discussion among high-level government officials on the regional development agenda and emerging issues. The Commission sets mandates within the global development framework based on the expressed needs of the member countries.
The Commission has seven inter-governmental committees dealing with: statistics, water resources, energy, transport, social development, international trade and women. It also has consultative committees on non-governmental organisations and science and technology.
ESCWA has 14 members. They are:
Bahrain Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Sudan Syrian AR UAE Yemen