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The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific or ESCAP is the main organization for United Nations activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

In terms of area covered and people served ESCAP, which is located in Bangkok, Thailand, is the largest of the UN's five Regional Commissions. It comprises 51 member and 9 associate member countries representing over 60 per cent of the world's population, or 3.5 billion people.

While other Regional Commissions operate side by side with active regional groupings such as the Organization of African Unity or the Organization of American States, ESCAP is the only inter-governmental forum covering the entire Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP is also an additional channel for North-South dialogue because of the membership of five non-regional developed countries, ie., France, the Netherlands, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.

ESCAP's main aim is to promote economic activity and social progress in the developing countries of the Asia and Pacific region. With its vast reservoir of experts in various disciplines, ESCAP works as a think tank, problem solver and catalyst for long-term social and economic development of 'the region. Among other things, ESCAP experts implement:

Several hundred dedicated international and local staff make up the ESCAP Secretariat which is headed by an Executive Secretary, Indonesian economist and diplomat, Mr.Adrianus Mooy. Under the Executive Secretary, they ensure the smooth and effective work of eight substantive Divisions and two serving Divisions. The substantive Divisions are responsible for the implementation of the sub-programme in the daily work of ESCAP.

ESCAP's annual work program, which is drawn up, based on the needs of member governments, is implemented with financing from the United Nations budget and supplementary financing by many member countries.

ESCAP liaises closely with specialized agencies belonging to the UN family, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other UN bodies.


Dated: 23 Jul 2000