The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. With a membership of 62 Governments, 58 of which are in the region, and a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, ESCAP is the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions. It is also the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff.
Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP seeks to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges. It carries out work in the following areas:
ESCAP focuses on issues that are most effectively addressed through regional cooperation, including:
- Issues that all or a group of countries in the region 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 collaborative inter-country approaches;
- Issues that are of a sensitive or emerging nature and require further advocacy and negotiation.
ESCAP secretariat comprises the Office of the Executive Secretary, seven substantive Divisions (MPDD, TID, TD, ED, IDD, SDD, and SD), the Administrative Services Division, and the Programme Management Division. The delivery of ESCAP’s programmes is supported by the regional institutions and the subregional offices.