Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

About the Commission:


The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. It is made up of 62 governments, amongst which 58 are in the region.

The Commission’s goal is to overcome the greatest challenges faced by the Pacific region and undertakes its work in three main areas:


  • Poverty reduction;
  • Management globalisation;
  • Emerging social issues.


ESCAP focuses on issues which require regional cooperation to address them effectively:


  • Issues that all or a group of countries face, for which it is necessary to learn from each other;
  • Issues that benefit from regional or multi-country involvement;
  • Issues that are transboundary in nature, or that would benefit from inter-country cooperation;
  • Issues of sensitive or emerging nature which require further awareness-raising and negotiation.


The Commission provides a forum to all its member states in the region to examine and discuss economic and social issues and strengthen regional cooperation.

The ESCAP main legislative organ is the Commission itself which holds a ministerial-level meeting every year, and reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


ESCAP works on different themes in the Pacific:


  • Emerging Social Issues
  • Environment et Sustainable Development
  • Information, Communication and Space Technology
  • Poverty and development
  • Statistics
  • Trade and Investment
  • Transport and Tourism


The 70th Session of the ESCAP was held in May 2014 and dealt with the following points:

  • establishment of an Asia-Pacific Disaster Management Centre supported by information and communications technology
  • preparations for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (Samoa, 2014)
  • sustainable management of oceans to ensure sustainable development
  • Challenges and stakes for an inclusive economic and social sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific 
  • The Ministerial Conference report on regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific 
  • The report on its tenth session by the Governing Board of the Centre for poverty reduction through sustainable agriculture.
  • Risk reduction 
  • DISABILITY : Roadmap for the implementation of the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific


A Ministerial Segment focused further on political issues of interest for the Asia-Pacific region:


  • Main challenges for an inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific
  • Study 2014 on the economic and social situation of Asia and the Pacific


New Caledonia:


It was during the annual session in Beijing in 1992 that New Caledonia and French Polynesia became Associate Members to ESCAP. The application for membership was initiated by the Permanent Secretary for the South Pacific and had received the strong support of Pacific countries.

The participation to the annual session of ESCAP contributes to making New Caledonia known to people from Asian countries who have never heard of it. Most of all, it enables to show our solidarity with the Pacific countries and territories. New Caledonia’s presence is fully part of its integration process in the regional environment.

New Caledonia signed the “Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific region” for the 1993-2002 decade.



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