The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was founded in 1948 by ECOSOC res. 106 (VI) to coordinate policies for the promotion of sustainable Latin American economic development and to foster regional and international trade. Later, its work was extended to the Caribbean countries and its programme of action expanded to promote sustainable social development.
In 1996, member governments updated ECLAC's mandate through res. 553 (XXVI). Under this provision, the Commission helps Member States analyse the development process by formulating, evaluating and following up on public policies, as well as by providing assistance in areas of specialised information.
ECLAC experts also offer advice, training and support on subjects such as:
Economic and social planning
Industrial, technological and entrepreneurial development
International trade, regional integration and cooperation
Investment and financing
Social development and equity
Integration of women in development
Natural resources and infrastructure
Environment and human settlements
Demography and population policies.
The work programme is carried out through the:
Division of Economic Development
Division of International Trade and Integration
Division of Natural Resources and Infrastructure
Division of Population
Division of Production, Productivity and Management
Division of Social Development
Division of Statistics and Economic Projections
Division of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements
Division of Gender Affairs
Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES)
Division of Programme Planning and Operations
Development Studies Unit
Public Information and Web Services Section.
In addition to its headquarters in Santiago, Chile, the Commission has sub-regional headquarters in Mexico City for Mexico and Central America, and in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for the Caribbean. It also maintains country offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Brasilia, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Bogota, Colombia; and a liaison office in Washington DC.
ECLAC has a number of subsidiary organs:
Committee of the Whole
Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean
Statistical Conference of the Americas of the ECLAC
Committee of High-Level Government Experts (CEGAN)
Regional Council for Planning
Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC)
Committee on Central American Economic Cooperation (CCE).
ECLAC membership is made up of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and 11 developed nations from North America, Europe and Asia that have strong economic, social and cultural linkages with the region. Additionally, eight non-independent territories in the Caribbean are associate members. .
The Member States are:
Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador France Germany Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Italy Jamaica Japan Mexico Netherlands Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Portugal ROK Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Spain Suriname Trinidad and Tobago UK USA Uruguay Venezuela
Associate members Anguilla Aruba British Vrrgin Islands Cayman Islands Montserrat Puerto Rico Turks and Caicos Islands United States Virgin Islands
Commission meetings are held every two years. The 2010 session was held from 30 May to I June in Brasilia, Brazil. The 2012 session will be held in El Salvador (dates to be confirmed). The Committee of the Whole meets between sessions.