This committee was officially created in 1945 as one of the original general assemblies since ECOFIN is also known as the Second Committee. It first met in San Francisco on April 25th, 1945. ECOFIN is unique in that it focused on the globalized economy and support nations financially. Its membership is open to all member states of the United Nations as one of the General Assemblies and follows the same parliamentary procedures as any other main organ of the United Nations. Thus, a total of 193 nations are represented in ECOFIN.
The mandate of a committee is the expressed powers or topic areas that it has the jurisdiction to cover and discuss. According to the United Nations, ECOFIN functions to discuss issues relating to economic growth and development (including international trade, international financial system, external debt sustainability and commodities), financing for development, sustainable development, human settlements, poverty eradication, globalization and interdependence, operational activities for development, and information and communication technologies for development. Its mandate further explores groupings of nations such as Least Developed Countries to encourage regional growth and support for all nations, which is just one of the many subgroups that are formed under ECOFIN to be able to substantively solve niche issues.
ECOFIN has helped many developing countries with financial assistance through times of crisis and development in order to spur growth and prosperity. Through its foreign aid programs, ECOFIN has set goals in lowering poverty and decreasing economic strain on countries facing large amounts of debt or countries that are in need of financial reconstructing.
Most recently, ECOFIN has taken a definitive stance on one of the key issues in the middle east: Israel and Palestine. ECOFIN has demanded that Israel end its occupation of Arab lands in Syria and cease its violation of human rights laws in accordance with the Palestinian people due to the evident economic impact that the political, military, and social situation in the area has on the people affected by this crisis.
Current ECOFIN Agenda
- Information and communications technologies for development
- Macroeconomic policy questions
- Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development
- Sustainable development
- Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
- Globalization and interdependence
- Groups of countries in special situations
- Eradication of poverty and other development issues
- Operational activities for development
- Agriculture development, food security and nutrition
- Global partnerships
- Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources