- Human rights
This chapter looks at the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) role in promoting human rights. The ECOSOC, whose origins lie in ambitious proposals drawn up in 1939 within the League of Nations for a ‘Central Committee for Economic and Social questions’, was supposed to be the central piece of that machinery, one that would work for the purpose of achieving ‘international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character’. Yet, ECOSOC has never been as central a body in the United Nations as one might have expected it to be. In every proposal for reform, it is one of the prime candidates for significant change or even elimination. The chapter suggests that this has significantly hampered its potential contribution to human rights over the years.
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