United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Map showing United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific members`
Abbreviation ESCAP
Formation 1947
Type Primary Organ – Regional Branch
Legal status Active
Headquarters Bangkok, Thailand

Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Ms. Shamshad Akhtar[1]
(2014 - present)
Parent organization
Website www.unescap.org

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP or ESCAP), located in the United Nations Building in Rajadamnern Nok Avenue in Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council,[2] under the administrative direction of the United Nations headquarters. It was established in 1947 (then as the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, ECAFE) to encourage economic cooperation among its member states. The name was changed to the current in 1974. ESCAP has 53 member States and nine Associate members, home to more than two-third of the world population. As well as countries in Asia and the Pacific, it includes France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

ESCAP's regional focus is managing globalization through programs in environmentally sustainable development, trade, and human rights. ESCAP is headed by Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar of Pakistan. Following her appointment on 3 February 2014 it was announced that under her leadership, ESCAP will place a greater emphasis on promoting higher, well-balanced and sustainable regional growth that helps eradicate poverty and generates jobs to improve prosperity in the region.[3]


ESCAP works to overcome some of the region's greatest challenges by providing results oriented projects, technical assistance and capacity building to member States in the following areas:[4]

  • Macroeconomic Policy and Development (including the publishing of Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) twice a year)[5]
  • Trade and Investment
  • Transport
  • Social Development
  • Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Statistics
  • Sub-regional activities for development

Member states

Associate members

Executive Secretaries[6]

Secretary Country Term
Ms. Shamshad Akhtar Pakistan2014–present
Ms. Noeleen Heyzer Singapore2007–2014
Mr. Kim Hak-Su South Korea2000–2007
Mr. Adrianus Mooy Indonesia1995–2000
Mr. Rafeeuddin Ahmed Pakistan1992–1994
Mr. Shah A M S Kibria Bangladesh1981–1992
Mr. J. B. P. Maramis Indonesia1973–1981
Mr. U Nyun Myanmar1959–1973
Mr. Chakravarthi V. Narasimhan India1956–1959
Mr. Palamadai S. Lokanathan India1947–1956


See also


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