Category

Regional Commissions

HQ location

Bangkok

Date established

1947

Resolution

GA res. 321197 (1977) and ECOSOC res. 1998/46 (1998)

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) serves as the regional arm of the UN in economic, social and related fields. Its work includes norm-setting, dissemination of information, analytical and operational functions, as well as providing an important forum for articulating regional perspectives on global issues and for building consensus within the Asia-Pacific region (GA res. 321197 (1977) and ECOSOC res. 1998/46 (1998).

The ESCAP programme promotes inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific, with particular focus on reducing social and economic disparities within and among countries in the region. Under the programme structure endorsed by GA res. 63/263 (2008), ESCAF's work is implemented through eight inter-dependent and complementary sub-programmes:

  • Macroeconomic policy and inclusive development
  • Trade and investment
  • Transport
  • Environment and development
  • Information and communications technology and disaster risk reduction
  • Social development
  • Statistics
  • Sub-regional activities for development

The Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) was established by ECOSOC res. 37 (IV) (1947). By res. 1895 (LVII) (1974), ECOSOC approved the change of name to ESCAP.

The main legislative organ of ESCAP is the Commission, which meets annually at the ministerial level and reports to ECOSOC. The Commission provides a forum for all Asia-Pacific region governments to review and discuss economic and social development issues, and to strengthen sub-regional and regional cooperation.

The Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and Other Representatives Designated by Members of the Commission (ACPR) was established in 1974. It is composed of ESCAP members and usually meets once every two months to advise and exchange views with the Executive Secretary on the Secretariat's work, and to maintain close cooperation and consultation between Member States and the Secretariat of the Commission.

The Commission is also responsible for the following regional institutions:

  • Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer ofTeclmology (APCTT), New Delhi, India
  • Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communications Technology for Development (APCICT), Incheon, ROK
  • Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA), Bogar, Indonesia
  • Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), Chiba,Japan
  • UN Asian and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (UNAPCAEM), Beijing, China.

Given the vast coverage and diversity of the Asian-Pacific region, ESCAP's programme on sub-regional activities for development strengthens the Commission's presence and interventions at that level in order to better target and deliver programmes that address specific key priorities, including poverty reduction and sustainable development, of Member States in the respective sub-regions.

ESCAP's work on sub-regional activities for development covers five sub-regions:

  • The Pacific, with a sub-regional office in Suva, Fiji
  • East and North-East Asia, with a sub-regional office in Incheon, ROK
  • North and Central Asia, with a sub-regional office to be located in Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • South and South-West Asia, with a sub-regional office to be located in New Delhi, India
  • South-East Asia, coordinated by ESCAP's headquarters, in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

The majority of ESCAP members are states within the geographical scope of the Commission. This extends from the Russian Federation to Tonga. There are also four non-regional members: France, Netherlands, the UK and USA. Non-self-governing territories in the region may become associate members.

There are 53 Member States:

Afghanistan
Armenia
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia
China
DPRK
Fiji
France
Georgia
India
Indonesia
Iran
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kiribati
Kyrgyzstan
Lao PDR
Malaysia
Maldives
Marshall Islands
Micronesia
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Pakistan
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
ROK
Russian Federation
Samoa
Singapore
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Tonga
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
UK
USA
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
VietNam

There are nine associate members:

American Samoa
Cook Islands
French Polynesia
Guam
Hong Kong, China
macau,China
New Caledonia
Niue
Northern Mariana Islands

ESCAP's 67th session was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 19 to 25 May 2011

United Nations Building
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Telephone: (+66 2) 288 1234
Fax: (+66 2) 288 1000
Email: escap-registry@un.org