ESCAP History

ESCAP’s journey began in 1947 in Shanghai, China as the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) to assist in post-war economic reconstruction. Two years later, it moved to its present-day headquarters in Bangkok in January 1949.

Building upon progress and cooperation, ESCAP’s name was changed in 1974 to reflect both the economic and social aspects of development and the geographic location of its member countries.

Today, strategic alliances and regional expertise have lifted millions out of poverty in Asia-Pacific and guided the region on enabling a better standard of life for all as envisaged in the Charter of the United Nations.

A graphic timeline of ESCAP's history is shown below.