Economic Social Council
Revival following 15 year dormant period
The Cabinet has appointed the 71 members of the Economic and Social Council (ESOC) which has been inoperative for more than 15 years.
The members include 12 women.
The ESOC, whose duty is to advise the Government on economic and social projects, represents most of the economic and social associations and unions. Emigrants are also represented by six members.
Charles Arbid, Chairman of the Lebanese Franchise Association, said that he is candidate for the ESOC’s chairmanship. He said that he is not aware of the existence of other candidates.
The Cabinet’s appointment of the ESOC members will be published in the Official Gazette next week.
Arbid said that within 15 days from when the Cabinet’s decision is published in the Official Gazette, the ESOC’s General Assembly will elect the nine-member office committee which in turn will designate the chairman and his deputy.
The Government will appoint the ESOC’s director general. Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that this enhances the role of women in the council.
The associations of business owners and professionals as well as labor unions and different women and social associations proposed lists of the candidates from which the Government has selected the ESOC members.
The resolution to form the council was taken in 1995 when Parliament issued a law to establish it as part of the reforms stipulated in the Taef agreement. When the term of the ESOC members selected in 2000 expired in 2002, political conflicts have subsequently thwarted any further appointments.
Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, said the nomination comes at the right time as many issues with economic and social dimensions are weighing down on the country. “The ESOC is the appropriate platform to discuss these issues and to study them thoroughly,” Choucair said.
The ESOC members represent business owners in such sectors as manufacturing, trade, agriculture, banking, tourism, transportation, construction, insurance, education, and healthcare. They also represent professionals such as lawyers, engineers, and doctors, as well as owners of newspapers, editors, pharmacists, dentists, and auditors. Different labor unions and professional associations are also represented on the council such as workers, writers, publishers, teachers, tenants, landlords, and craftsmen. It also includes non-governmental social organizations and women's associations. It also comprises intellectuals and experts in various economic, social, and scientific sectors in addition to people involved in cultural, artistic, and environmental issues.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Oct 13, 2017