The Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia (ESCWA) is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations created to fulfill the economic and social goals set out in the Charter and promote cooperation and integration between countries in the Arab region. It was established on 9 August 1973 and to date comprises 20 Arab countries from the global south: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Commission has its headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
ESCWA operates through different thematic clusters: “Climate change and natural resource sustainability”; “Gender justice, population and inclusive development”; “Shared economic prosperity”; “Statistics, information society and technology”; “2030 Agenda and SDG coordination”; and “Governance and conflict prevention”. Work on these themes is done in synergy and is aimed at stimulating economic activity and inclusive social development in member States, strengthening cooperation between them, encouraging the exchange of experiences and integration, and promoting sustainable development.
ESCWA supports the efforts of the member States and aids them in ensuring prosperity and equality. By analyzing regional and national economic, social and environmental trends in the light of global United Nations agendas, ESCWA provides Arab countries with policy recommendations that build on a thorough analysis of facts and commonalities. It also underscores the benefits of integration and creates regional public goods, including knowledge, data, tools and capacity.