United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

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United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
Map showing member states of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia`
Abbreviation ESCWA
Formation August 9, 1973
Type Primary Organ - Regional Branch
Legal status Active
Headquarters Beirut, Lebanon
Executive Secretary of ESCWA
Rima Khalaf[1]
(2010 - )
Parent organization
Website ESCWA Website

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) Arabic: (الإسكوا), headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. UN-ESCWA promotes economic and social development of Western Asia through regional and subregional cooperation and integration. It devises, promotes, and executes development assistance activities and projects in tune with the needs and priorities of the region of Western Asia. UN-ESCWA coordinates its activities with those of the major departments/offices of the United Nations at Headquarters and of specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations, such as the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, with a view to avoid duplication and ensure complementarity, synergy and exchange of information. ESCWA has 18 member states (the latest countries to join were Mauritania in 2015;[2] Libya, Morocco and Tunisia in 2012), and reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


To support economic and social development in the countries of the region;

To promote cooperation between the countries of the region;

To encourage interaction between member countries and promote the exchange of experience, best practice and lessons learned;

To achieve regional integration between member countries, and to ensure interaction between Western Asia and other regions of the world;

To familiarize the outside world with the circumstances and needs of the countries in the region.


ESCWA provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries, a platform for congress and coordination, a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. ESCWA activities are coordinated with the divisions and main offices of the Headquarters of the United Nations, specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations, including the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.


UN ESCWA Headquarters are located in Beirut, Lebanon.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA or ESCWA) was first established in 1973 as the UN Economic Commission for Western Asia (UN-ECWA). It was established by Economic and Social Council resolution 1818 (LV) and was the successor to United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut (UNESOB). The organization's name was changed from Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) to Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in 1985.

Former ESCWA Executive Secretaries:

Bader Al-Dafa 2007 - 2010

Mervat Tallawy 2000 - 2007

Hazem El Beblawi 1995 - 2000

Sabbaheddin Bakjaji 1993-1995

Tayseer Abdel Jaber 1989-1993

Mohammad Said Al-Nabulsi 1985-1988

Mohammad Said Al-Attar 1974-1985

Member states


UN-ESCWA headquarters is in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, near the Grand-Serail – the headquarters of Lebanese Prime Minister – and the Parliament.


The administrative budget of UN-ESCWA is funded from the financial resources of the United Nations, the major portion of which comes from the contributions of member States. Detailed expenditures are allocated to various sections for pre-determined purposes.

Furthermore, UN-ESCWA receives additional financial resources from outside the regular budget, which are used to implement specific projects in accordance with agreements reached with governmental and non-governmental donors. The amount of these resources varies from one period of time to another, depending on numerous considerations and circumstances.

See also


  1. ESCWA: Office of the Executive Secretary
  2. ECOSOC Resolution 2015/32 on the admission of Mauritania





External links

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