Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

CSocD61 Photo by UNDESA


Since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) has been the key United Nations body in charge of the follow up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.

Originally known as the Social Commission but renamed in 1966, CSocD was established by ECOSOC res. 10 (II) (1946). Its purpose was to advise ECOSOC on social policies of a general character and, in particular, on all matters in the social field not covered by the specialised inter-governmental agencies. The Commission’s mandate was further developed by ECOSOC resolutions 830J (XXXII) (1961), 1139 (XLI) (1966) and 1996/7. Since 2006, the Commission has taken up key social development themes as part of its follow up to the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit.

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The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) meets every year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, typically in February.


Originally 18, membership has been increased several times, most recently in 1996, and now stands at 46. Members are elected by ECOSOC based on equitable geographical distribution (as noted in the following list) for four-year terms. Until 2002, terms began on 1 January and ended on 31 December. Under ECOSOC decision 2002/210, terms now begin immediately after the Commission’s regular session and end at the conclusion of a regular session.


The Bureau comprises a chair and four vice-chairs. Bureau members are elected by the Commission at the first meeting of a regular session, held immediately after the end of a regular session for the sole purpose of electing a new bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/210). In order to enhance the effectiveness of the work of the Commission, the officers elected to the Bureau of the Commission serve for a term of office of two years, in parallel with the review and policy cycle in accordance (ECOSOC resolutions 2010/10 and 2012/7).