United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP or ESCAP), located in Bangkok, Thailand, is the regional arm of the United Nations Secretariat for the Asian and Pacific region. 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. It is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of United Nations headquarters. The ESCAP has 53 member States and nine Associate members, and reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). As well as countries in Asia and the Pacific, it includes France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The ESCAP is headed by Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore. Ms. Heyzer is the first woman to head ESCAP, which is the biggest of the UN's five regional commissions, both in terms of population served and area covered.
Fifty-three countries are members of ESCAP, and there are nine countries which are associate members. ESCAP's regional focus is managing globalization through programs in environmentally sustainable development, trade, and human rights.