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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports

ECOSOC documentation

Official documents from the Economic and social council (ECOSOC) 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.

ECOSOC documentation

The Agenda

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


Session reports

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 ECOSOC session reports

Sessional documents from ECOSOC carry the following symbols:

E/ Economic and Social Council


-/sequential number

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.

Meeting records

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 ECOSOC meeting records

The meeting records carry the following symbols:

E/ Economic and Social Council


-/SR. "summary records"

-/sequential number

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 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


-/sequential number

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.

Annual reports

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 ECOSOC annual reports

Press releases

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 ECOSOC news and press releases

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. 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 is 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


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