The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) was established by the General Assembly in 1973 as a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to promote development, boost economic activity and strengthen cooperation in the Arab region.
The ESCWA intergovernmental machinery consists of the Commission, the highest body of the organization, and the legislative and consultative committees, which are subsidiary bodies of the Commission.
Pursuant to ESCWA resolution 196 (XVII) of 31 May 1994, the Commission holds a ministerial session biennially in even years. Since 2006, sessions have comprised a ministerial segment and a senior officials segment.
Under rule 1 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, sessions shall normally be held in April every other year, at a time to be determined by the members of the Commission. During the session, the Commission recommends the date and venue of the next session.