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Economic and Social Council

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. It is responsible for:

  • promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress;
  • identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems;
  • facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and
  • encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It has the power to make or initiate studies and reports on these issues. It also has the power to assist the preparations and organization of major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields as well as to facilitate a coordinated follow-up to these conferences. With its broad mandate the Council's purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system.

The Debt Crisis in Europe

In 2009 the Debt Crisis began in Europe. Debt levels were soaring in some European States most notably Greece and Portugal, leaving foreign investors concerned about the welfare of their investments. To combat these rising debt levels the European Union established the EFSF, European Financial Stability Facility, which was comprised of monetary funds that could be used to rescue States in default of loans. This allowed Banks the ability to write off a portion of a States debt. This however was not enough and the European Union had to increase the EFSF budget from 750 billion Euros to 1 trillion Euros, roughly 980 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. Dollars. Although the monetary Union and trading had been affected throughout this crisis the Euro has remained relatively stable throughout. While the cause of the European debt crisis is complex, the lack of fiscally conservative policies throughout Europe led to Economic instability. This lack of responsibility on part by the States led to economic turmoil that resonated throughout a globalized and interdependent international system

In light of recent events such as France losing the AAA rating and the downfall of Italy and Ireland, the world can on look on in horror during the world’s economic downfall. Germany and other European countries can only help for so long before their own economies will start to feel the effect of it. The United Kingdom has also been warned that it is in danger of losing the prestigious AAA rating as well. With the IMF with holding bailout funds from Greece, the people of Europe can only hold their breath. 

While this is a major problem in Europe, it screams a bigger problem for the entire world. With so many countries having investments from and in the area, the worry is that loans will default and lead to closures all around. Africa has already begun to feel this problem with many European banks denying loans for development and infra-structure. It is the main task of the committee to figure out innovative ideas of how to fight the debt crisis in Europe.


Key Ideas

  1. What can member States do to alleviate the burden on Greece, Portugal and Ireland?
  2. What measures can be taken to prevent this catastrophe and others like it from occurring again?
  3. What role is ECOSOC most beneficial to play in this Crisis?
  4. What can States do to assist countries most heavily impacted?
  5. What responsibility do States have to avert a Crisis such as this?
  6. What does this mean for future Monetary Unions?
Black Market Trade in Human Organs

Throughout the world a shortage of organ donors has led to the rise of a Black market focused on the trade and sale of Organs that have either been purchased from individuals or in some cases taken by force. These Organs in a large part come from individuals of third world countries trying to improve their lives with the cash they are provided for selling their organs. Especially in times when people are vulnerable they seek a means to sustain themselves. This has occurred in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, or even the recent the earthquake in Haiti. Organs primarily sold on the Black market include the liver, kidneys, cornea, and lungs. Many countries have implemented regulations to restrict organ sales. However putting an end to illegal organ sales is not just a matter of making the sale prohibited by law but also by helping countries achieve economic prosperity and independence these practices would no longer be necessary. 

For example:
India:  Transplantation of Human Organs Act 
Philippines: banned organ sales in 2008
China: Has passed legislation banning legal sale of organs yet still collects organs from deceased prisoners.
Iran: Selling on kidney for profit is legal
United Kingdom: Human Tissue Act 2004
United States: Organ donating is allowed but not for profit 

Key Ideas

  1. Is it possible to end this Black market via interstate cooperation?
  2. What moral/ethical guideline must be followed in creating draft language to combat this trade?
  3. Who is the victim and who is the perpetrator in this market?
  4. Are the ones trying to sell their organs just as guilty as those trying to buy?
  5. What goals can the ECOSOC council make to ensure that this trade does not reach those in need of disaster relief?


Subsidiary Bodies of the ECOSOC:

Country Profile's

Finance and Development documentation: