One of the UN's central mandates is the promotion of higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development. Beginning in 1960, the General Assembly has helped set priorities and goals through a series of 10-year International Development Strategies. While focusing on issues of particular concern, the decades have consistently stressed the need for progress on all aspects of social and economic development. The UN continues formulating new development objectives in such key areas as sustainable development, the advancement of women, human rights, environmental protection and good governance – along with programmes to make them a reality.
Millenium Development Goals
At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, world leaders adopted a set of Millennium Development Goals aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; and ensuring environmental sustainability — through a set of measurable targets to be achieved by the year 2015.
The Economic and Social Council
The UN programmes and funds work under the authority of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to carry out the UN's economic and social mandate. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions.
The Commision for Social Development
The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. It consists of 46 members elected by ECOSOC.
Since the convening of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, the Commission has been the key UN body in charge of the follow-up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. It meets once a year in New York, usually in February. The Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration participates every year.
Each year since 1995, the Commission has taken up key social development themes as part of its follow-up to the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit.