On 10 June 2022, the United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly elected the new members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the term 2023-2025. The Lao PDR was honored to be elected as one of the four Members, along with Qatar, Republic of Korea and China representing the Asia Pacific region. This is for the first time in history that the Lao PDR will sit in the Council as a full member.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits. The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations.
ECOSOC has 54 member Governments which are elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with fourteen allocated to African States, eleven to Asian States, six to Eastern European States, ten to Latin American and Caribbean States, and thirteen to Western European and other States.
ECOSOC links a diverse family of subsidiary bodies and UN entities dedicated to sustainable development, providing overall guidance and coordination. It is mandated to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the fifteen United Nations Specialized Agencies, eight Functional Commissions and five Regional Commissions. It provides the central forum for discussing international economic, social and development issues, and for formulating policy recommendations and guidance for UN Member States and the United Nations system to address the current development challenges. Building on its coordination role within the UN system, ECOSOC is a gateway for UN partnership and participation by the rest of the world. It further offers a unique global meeting point for productive dialogues among policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, foundations, businesses, youth and 3,200+ registered NGOs.
Having recognized multidimensional challenges and special needs of group of countries in special situations and by representing small, landlocked and least developed countries, the Lao PDR highly acknowledges the important role of ECOSOC, at the centre of the UN development system, in conducting cutting-edge analysis, agreeing on global norms and advocating for progress on sustainable development. In this connection, the Lao PDR is strongly committed to the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Programmes of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and other UN development cooperation frameworks.
The Lao PDR strongly believes that with its unique development experience of being both LDC and LLDC, its membership to ECOSOC for the term 2023-2025 will bring valuable insight and contribution to the work of ECOSOC with commitment to pay due attention to issues of strengthening the Council’s leadership and policy guidance role in accelerating SDG progress and building resilience and for better coordination of the activities of the United Nations Development System and its specialized agencies as well as in addressing the special needs of the most vulnerable countries within the United Nations frameworks. The Lao PDR will also actively advocate for global solidarity and renewed multilateralism during times of triple crisis and to meet long-term challenges to sustainable development.