ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)

ESCAP profile

  • Overview

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. With a membership of 62 Governments, 58 of which are in the region, and a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, ESCAP is the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions. It is also the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff.

    Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP seeks to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges. It carries out work in the following areas:

    • Macroeconomic Policy and Development
    • Statistics
    • Subregional activities for development
    • Trade and Investment
    • Transport
    • Environment and sustainable development
    • Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction
    • Social Development

    ESCAP focuses on issues that are most effectively addressed through regional cooperation, including:

    • Issues that all or a group of countries in the region face, for which it is necessary to learn from each other;
    • Issues that benefit from regional or multi-country involvement;
    • Issues that are transboundary in nature, or that would benefit from collaborative inter-country approaches;
    • Issues that are of a sensitive or emerging nature and require further advocacy and negotiation.

    Further information is on ESCAP’s website.

    Preferences in private sector partnership

    ESCAP focuses on regional coperation on policy related issues. As such, ESCAP has limited direct involvement and few formalized partnerships with the private sector. At the same time, several ESCAP divisions are involved with the private sector in different ways. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • capacity building of Global Compact local networks to support companies in implementing the Global Compact principles;
    • organization of the yearly Asia-Pacific Business Forum (;
    • support to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Business Forum;
    • involving private sector as dialogue partner on issues related to integrating SMEs into value chains; trade facilitation; trade policy, etc.
    • yearly meeting of freight forwarders;
    • APCICT-ESCAP partnership with Microsoft on capacity building in ICT;
    • Green Growth policy dialogues
    Preferred partnership types

    Advocacy of global issues; Project funding; Standards and guidelines development

    Sustainable Development Goals

    5. Gender equality; 7. Affordable and clean energy; 8. Decent work and economic growth; 10. Reduced inequalities; 11. Sustainable cities and communities; 12. Responsible consumption and production; 13. Climate action; 14. Life below water; 15. Life on land

    Issue areas

    Biodiversity; Child Labour; Climate Change; Energy; Forced Labour; Gender Equality; Human Rights; Human Trafficking; Indigenous Peoples; Labour; Migrant Workers; Persons with Disabilities; Principle 1; Principle 2; Principle 3; Principle 4; Principle 5; Principle 6; Principle 7; Principle 8; Principle 9; Women's Empowerment

    Regions / countries / territories

    Asia: 35 countries (click to show)
    Afghanistan; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region); China - Macau (Special Administrative Region); Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Georgia; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Maldives; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Tajikistan; Thailand; Timor Leste; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; Vietnam
    Oceania: 14 countries (click to show)
    Australia; Fiji; Kiribati; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Nauru; New Zealand; Niue; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Solomon Islands; Tuvalu; Vanuatu