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).
Regional Commissions are the regional outposts of the United Nations and represent an integral part of the regional institutional landscape. Stationed in five regions of the world, they share the key objectives of aiming to foster economic integration at the subregional and regional levels, promoting the regional implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support regional sustainable development by contributing to bridging economic, social and environmental gaps among their member countries and subregions.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was established in 1958 by ECOSOC res. 671A (XXV) (1958), and is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of UN Headquarters. As the regional arm of the UN in Africa, it is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 Member States, foster regional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
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 Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was created in 1947 by ECOSOC res. 36 (IV) (1947). Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. To do so, UNECE brings together 56 countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America to work together on economic and sectoral issues.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was founded in 1948 by ECOSOC res. 106 (VI) to coordinate policies for the promotion of sustainable Latin American economic development and to foster regional and international trade. Later, its work was extended to the Caribbean countries and its programme of action expanded to promote sustainable social development.