Estonia was chosen to be a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the first time at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, 22 October. Estonia’s membership in ECOSOC will begin on 1 January 2009 and last for three years, until 31 December 2011.
The Economic and Social Council addresses many issues that are important to Estonia, such as development co-operation, human rights, and humanitarian issues. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia can focus on humanitarian topics in ECOSOC, maintaining and enhancing our humanitarian aid reputation. “Our membership will also give Estonia a chance to increase its visibility in the international arena, intensify relations with developing countries, and continue being actively involved in advancing equal rights and the situation of women through UN development activities,” said the foreign minister.
The Economic and Social Council is the principal organ in the UN dealing with economic and social issues. ECOSOC is responsible for advancing economic development, human rights protection, and international co-operation in various social fields and to co-ordinate the activities of UN special agencies, programmes, and funds. The Council has the power to make or initiate studies, make recommendations, prepare conventions, and organise international conferences. ECOSOC’s 54 member states are chosen by the UN General Assembly.
Estonia has also submitted its candidacy to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 and a member of the UN Security Council in 2020.
More information about ECOSOC can be found at: http://www.un.org/ecosoc/