ESCWA Building


Technical Committee

Statistical Committee

Committee on Social Development

Committee on Energy

Committee on Water Resources

Committee on Transport

Committee on Liberalization of Foreign Trade and Economic Globalization

Committee on Women


Ministerial Sessions


25th Ministerial Session
24th Ministerial Session

Governing Body

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), was established by the General Assembly in 1973 as a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in order to facilitate concerted action for the economic and social development of the countries of Western Asia by promoting economic cooperation and integration in the region. The ESCWA intergovernmental machinery consists of the Commission as the highest body within the organization and, reporting to it, the subsidiary bodies of the Commission, which are the legislative and consultative committees.

Pursuant to its resolutions 158 (XIV) of 5 April 1987 on holding the sessions of the Commission on a biennial basis, and 196 (XVII) of 31 May 1994 on the frequency of sessions of the Commission, the Ministerial Session of ESCWA is held once every two years, in even years. Beginning in 2006, session meetings were convened in two segments, a senior official’s segment and a Ministerial segment.

Rule 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission stipulates that the sessions shall be held normally in April every other year, at a time to be determined by the members of the Commission. Consequently, during each session, the Commission recommends the date and venue of the next session.

There are eight inter-governmental bodies at ESCWA; the Technical Committee and seven specialized subsidiary committees that report to the ministerial session of the Commission and which, in accordance with UN-ESCWA resolution 219 (XX) of 27 May 1999, meet once every two years with the exception of the Transport Committee which meets on an annual basis. The eight committees are:

The Technical Committee was established pursuant to the decision of the Commission at its twenty-fourth session in 2006.
The Statistical Committee, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 179 (XVI) of September 1992;
The Committee on Social Development, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 198 (XVII) of 31 May 1994;
The Committee on Energy, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 204 (XVIII) of 25 May 1995;
The Committee on Water Resources, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 205 (XVIII) of 25 May 1995;
The Committee on Transport, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 213 (XIX) of 7 May 1997;
The Committee on Liberalization of Foreign Trade and Economic Globalization, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 214 (XIX) of 7 May 1997.
The Committee on Women, established by UN-ESCWA resolution 240 (XXII) of 1 October 2003.

The above committees were established to assist the Commission in formulating its work programme in their respective areas of competence and to serve as points of interaction on programmatic issues between the specialists of the member countries and the substantive staff of the ESCWA secretariat.