ECOSOC was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.
The Council holds a four-week substantive session each July, alternating between New York and Geneva. The session consists of the High-level Segment, Coordination Segment, Operational Activities Segment, Humanitarian Affairs Segment and the General Segment.
A new feature of the ECOSOC is the Annual Ministerial Review and the Development Cooperation Forum. At the end of the High-level segment, a Ministerial declaration is adopted, which provides policy guidance and recommendations for action.