Background | Work Programme | Mission | Members



The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) -the Spanish acronym is CEPAL- was established by Economic and Social Council resolution 106(VI) of 25 February 1948 and began to function that same year. The scope of the Commission's work was later broadened to include the countries of the Caribbean, and by resolution 1984/67 of 27 July 1984, the Economic Council decided to change its name to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); the Spanish acronym, CEPAL, remains unchanged.

ECLAC, which is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, coordinating actions directed towards this end, and reinforcing economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. The promotion of the region's social development was later included among its primary objectives.

In June 1951, the Commission established the ECLAC subregional headquarters in Mexico City, which serves the needs of the Central American subregion, and in December 1966, the ECLAC subregional headquarters for the Caribbean was founded in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, ECLAC maintains country offices in Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Montevideo and Bogotá, as well as a liaison office in Washington, D.C.


Work Programme

Draft programme of work of the ECLAC system 2012-2013 (.pdf)

Subprogramme 1: Linkages With The Global Economy, Integration And Regional Cooperation
Subprogramme 2: Production And Innovation
Subprogramme 3: Macroeconomic Policies And Growth
Subprogramme 4: Financing For Development
Subprogramme 5: Social Development And Equality
Subprogramme 6: Mainstreaming The Gender Perspective In Regional Development
Subprogramme 7: Population And Development
Subprogramme 8: Sustainable Development And Human Settlements
Subprogramme 9: Natural Resources And Infrastructure
Subprogramme 10: Planning Of Public Administration
Subprogramme 11: Statistics
Subprogramme 12: Subregional Activities In Mexico And Central America
Subprogramme 13: Subregional Activities In The Caribbean


Mandate and mission

The secretariat of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC):

  • Provides substantive secretariat services and documentation for the Commission and its subsidiary bodies;
  • Undertakes studies, research and other support activities within the terms of reference of the Commission;
  • Promotes economic and social development through regional and subregional cooperation and integration;
  • Gathers, organizes, interprets and disseminates information and data relating to the economic and social development of the region;
  • Provides advisory services to Governments at their request and plans, organizes and executes programmes of technical cooperation;
  • Formulates and promotes development cooperation activities and projects of regional and subregional scope commensurate with the needs and priorities of the region and acts as an executing agency for such projects;
  • Organizes conferences and intergovernmental and expert group meetings and sponsors training workshops, symposia and seminars;
  • Assists in bringing a regional perspective to global problems and forums and introduces global concerns at the regional and subregional levels;
  • Coordinates ECLAC activities with those of the major departments and offices at United Nations Headquarters, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations with a view to avoiding duplication and ensuring complementarity in the exchange of information.

Member States and associate members of ECLAC

The 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are member States of ECLAC, together with several North American, Asian and European nations that have historical, economic and cultural ties with the region, reaching a total of 44 member States. Eight non-independent territories in the Caribbean are associate members of the Commission.

Estados miembros de la CEPAL:

  • Antigua y 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
  • Republic of Korea
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Granadines
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Associate members:

  • Anguila
  • Aruba
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Caiman Islands
  • Montserrat
  • Puerto Rico
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands


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@LIS2 is a Programme of the European Commission
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