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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

The Economic and Social Council (subject only to the overriding authority of the General Assembly) is responsible for trying to fulfil these aims. It is one of the six main organs of the United Nations. It is responsible under the General Assembly for directing and coordinating the policies and programmes of the United Nations in economic, social, and cultural fields. Its purposes are more specifically defined as the promotion of (a) higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; (b) solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and (c) international, cultural, and educational cooperation; and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of race, sex, language, or religion. The Council has a wide potential field of activity. It has been called upon to develop and coordinate an increasing variety of economic and social works.

New Zealand has supported ECOSOC in its work of supervising, directing, and coordinating the economic developmental programmes of the United Nations and its related agencies. Many of these programmes are affected by the state of world trade. Trade problems are therefore a focal point in the deliberations of bodies subsidiary to ECOSOC or those connected with the United Nations which have responsibility for international economic matters.

The Council comprises 18 members elected by the General Assembly, six of whom are elected each year for a three-year term. New Zealand's second consecutive term expired at the end of 1961, and the representative of New Zealand to the United Nations was elected President of the Council for 1961. In expressing appreciation of this honour the New Zealand representative referred to the fact that, since the United Nations began, New Zealand has been “particularly conscious of the unique contribution which international cooperation in the economic and social fields can make to the attainment of world peace and security”.