ESMO has been granted ‘special consultative status’ with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
This is the highest status granted by the United Nations to non-governmental organizations (NGO's) like ESMO, allowing them to participate in the work of the United Nations.
ECOSOC is the central coordinator of UN activities and the 14 United Nations specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. It is responsible for the coordination of policy reviews, dialogues, and recommendation on economic, social, and environmental development issues, including implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The overarching goal of the SDG on health (Goal 3) is the achievement of ‘universal health coverage’ by 2030. Of particular importance to ESMO are SDG sub-goals 3.4 and 3.8
- 3.4: By 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing.
- 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
ECOSOC consists of 54 Member States elected by the General Assembly with seats allotted by geographical region, and in overlapping three-year terms.
Combined with the official relations status with WHO, the special consultation status with ECOSOC gives ESMO a voice to influence public health policies and the highest political levels.