AIM Education and Research Society is pleased to announce that it has been granted ‘Special Consultative Status’ by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). As a result, AIMERS can now actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations (UN) Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of ways. It will allow AIMERS to raise its voice about the importance of education, research and innovation worldwide, particular to Women Empowerment
The special status was approved in New York on 24-25 July 2018 upon recommendation by the Non-Governmental Organization committee of ECOSOC. As of now, AIMERS will be able to express its views and to influence the work of the Council through meetings, events, presentations, etc. AIMERS will, for instance, be able to provide expert analysis and raise public awareness of relevant issues related to research, education and innovation.
Economic and Social Council
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the 6 principal organs of the United Nations System established by the UN Charter in 1945. It consists of 54 Members of the United Nations elected by the General Assembly.
ECOSOC coordinates economic, social, and related work of the fourteen United Nations specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. It serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations 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.
In carrying out its mandate, ECOSOC consults with academics, business sector representatives and more than 3,200 registered non-governmental organizations. The work of the Council is conducted through several sessions and preparatory meetings, round tables and panel discussions with members of civil society throughout the year, to deal with the organization of its work. Once a year, it meets for a four-week substantive session in July, alternating between New York and Geneva. The annual session is organized in five segments which include:
- the High-level segment;
- the Coordination segment;
- the Operational Activities segment;
- the Humanitarian Affairs segment;
- the General Segment.
The United Nations has been working to strengthen cooperation with NGOs across the entire United Nations system and in all areas of its work. As a result, United Nations entities are identifying new modalities to promote increased and more strategic participation of NGOs. The necessity of strengthening UN/NGOs relations has been underlined in various documents, in particular in the Millennium Declaration in September 2000. The commitment of Member States to provide greater opportunity to NGOs was reaffirmed in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. From the beginning, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has been the main entry point into the UN system for NGOs. ECOSOC remains the only main UN body with a formal framework for NGO participation. In 1946, 41 NGOs were granted consultative status by the council; by 1992 more than 700 NGOs had attained consultative status and the number has been steadily increasing ever since to more than 4000+ organizations today.
ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies
The Economic and Social Council is the principal organ that coordinates the economic, social and related work of the 14 United Nations specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. It serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. ECOSOC consists of 54 Member States elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with 14 allocated to African States, 11 to Asian States, 6 to Eastern European States, 10 to Latin American and Caribbean States, and 13 to Western European and other States.
There are a number of subsidiary bodies under the ECOSOC umbrella which help to achieve the goals of the Council. ECOSOC provides policy coherence and coordinates the overlapping functions of all its subsidiary bodies. Once NGOs gain consultative status, they can actively participate in the work of ECOSOC subsidiary bodies.
ECOSOC functional commissions
» Statistical Commission
» Commission on Population and Development
» Commission for Social Development
» Commission on the Status of Women
» Commission on Narcotic Drugs
» Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
» Commission on Science and Technology for Development
» Commission on Sustainable Development
ECOSOC regional commissions
» Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
» Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
» Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
» Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
» Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
» Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
» United Nations Forum on Forests
» Sessional and standing committees
» Expert, ad hoc and related bodies
ECOSOC consultative status
ECOSOC remains the only main UN body with a formal framework for NGO participation.
This accreditation framework benefits both the United Nations and the NGOs. As stated by resolution 1996/31 on the “Consultative relationship between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations,”
“… Consultative arrangements are to be made, on the one hand, for the purpose of enabling the Council or one of its bodies to secure expert information or advice from organizations having special competence in the subjects for which consultative arrangements are made, and, on the other hand, to enable international, regional, sub-regional and national organizations that represent important elements of public opinion to express their views.”.
While ECOSOC has the opportunity to avail itself of valuable and expert advice from NGOs, the NGOs in turn also have the opportunity of expressing their views and influencing the work of the Council. NGOs have specialized competence, hands-on experience and flexibility that is of great value to the UN.