Official documents from the Economic and social council are available online in fulltext from 1993-. Some documents of the older material for the period 1946-1992 are available online while others must be search for in print.
Electronic material are available on websites and in databases. The UN databases provide bibliographic information for the official documents. Documents, in print only, can be found in a UN depository library.
- The Agenda
- Session reports
- Meeting records
- Annual reports
- Press releases
The ECOSOC agenda is issued as two separate versions - one for the organizational session in New York and the other for the substantive session in July, altering between New York and Geneva.
Find the ECOSOC agenda
The two versions of the agenda carry the following documents symbols:
Agenda for the organizational session
Agenda for the substantive session
ECOSOC holds short sessions, meetings and discussions throughout the year to prepare for its substantive session. The four-week substantive session is held each July in alternative years in New York and Geneva.
The annual substantive session includes a high-level segment attended by Ministers and other high officials to discuss major economic, social and humanitarian issues. ECOSOC adopts a declaration from this meeting with policy guidance and recommendations for action. ECOSOC also deals with issues such as
- coordination between the UN bodies
- UN development cooperation activities
- other matters dealt with by its subsidiary bodies.
The year-around work of ECOSOC is carried out by its subsidiary organs - functional and regional commissions and standing committees and expert bodies. They meet regularly and report to the Council.
Find session reports
Sessional documents from ECOSOC carry the following symbols:
E/ Economic and Social Council
Ex. E/2004/18 Economic and Social Council, 2004, document no 18
NB! ECOSOC documents do not include session numbers. For documents prior to 1978, the year was excluded.
- Recent session documents are posted at the ECOSOC website.
- An important part of the documents are the annual reports of the commissions and committees.
Statements made during UN meetings may be issued as documents called meeting records. Meeting records from the plenary meetings of the ECOSOC are issued as summary records in the form of a third-person condensed version.
Find meeting records
The meeting records carry the following symbols:
E/ Economic and Social Council
-/SR. "summary records"
Ex. E/2001/SR.24 Economic and Social Council, 2001, summary records from the 24th meeting
The meeting records prior to 1978 have only a sequential number and are issued as, for example, E/SR.2021 Economic and Social Council, summary records, meeting no 2021.
- The meeting records in print for the period 1946-1992 are not always available online. From 1993 onwards they can be accessed electronically through the UN databases.
- On the ECOSOC website there are:
- The press releases with the symbol ECOSOC/- is an alternative source of information.
- Research guides from the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library (New York):
The resolutions are formal expressions of the opinion of the ECOSOC. They have only advisory status and are often passed on to the General Assembly for further actions.
For some of the actions the term "decisions" is used. The decisions deal with routine matters such as appointments and elections.
Voting in the ECOSOC is by simple majority. Each member state has one vote.
Find ECOSOC resolutions
ECOSOC resolutions carry the following symbols:
Resolutions from 1978 onwards
Ex.2000/288 Document 288 =(NB! no individual code for the resolutions), year 2000.
Before 1978 these documents are numbered consecutively through the years. A roman numeral within parentheses indicates the session number.
- ECOSOC resolutions are issued as no 1 in the series Supplements to the Official Records of the Economic and Social Council.
- Resolutions from the committees, commissions and other subsidiary bodies are published in their annual reports submitted to ECOSOC. These reports are issued as Supplements to the Official Records of the Economic and Social Council.
- For more information about ECOSOC resolutions, see United Nations Documentation: Research Guide. Economic and Social Council Resolutions/Decisions.
ECOSOC submits a report yearly to the General Assembly for approval. It is a survey of the organization and activities of the ECOSOC, with references to the documents issued.
Find annual reports
- The Annual Reports of the Economic and Social Council are published as no. 3 in the series Supplements to the Official Records to the General Assembly.
- The Annual Reports for recent years are posted at ECOSOC Reports to the General Assembly.
- Additional information about the annual reports in the research guide by Dag Hammarskjöld Library (New York).
Press releases from the United Nations are published daily, providing fast availability and valuable information about UN actions and decisions.
Press releases are the first unofficial source for the media. The official record is contained in the UN documents.
Find news and press releases
Key UN documents
UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases
- United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
- UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
- ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
- Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
- UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
- Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
- a list of all documents
- a comprehensive subject index
- an index to speeches
- a voting chart of resolutions
- United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
- All UN documents from 1993-.
- All resolutions of the Principal Organs from 1946-.
- All Security Council plenary documents from 1946- in English, French and Spanish.
- All supplements to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR) from 1946-.
- All General Assembly plenary meeting records from 1946- in English, French and Spanish.
- Older documents are being scanned: Update on UN Digitization Programme.