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The International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS) held its first official meeting in July 1999 in Port Louis, Mauritius. It is an association under Dutch law with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

In its initial composition,  AICESIS counted 24 full members and 3 associate members. AICESIS currently reunites institutions from 72 African, Latin American, Asian and European countries. Nowadays, not a year has passed without the General Assembly approving the admission of new members.

The Association is fully respectful of the independence of each of its members. AICESIS has the following missions:

  • to encourage and promote dialogue and  exchange of views and good practices among its members and, at a wider level, encourage dialogue between economic and social partners around the world;
  • to help the development of their consultative function, the strengthening of social and civil dialogue and, more generally, the development of participatory democracy and the role of the social partners and other components of civil society, as essential factors in a genuine, sustainable democratisation and efficient governance of modern societies;
  • to encourage the creation of ESCs in countries which do not yet possess them through the organisation of meetings, advising activities and the popularization of the added value of these advisory bodies;
  • to organize contributions of its members, to represent them in international organisations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), where it acts with a permanent observer status, and to participate in debates in these frameworks;
  • last, in a wider context, to contribute to the prosperity and to the economic development of the population in accordance with the principles of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the fundamental principles and rights at work endorsed by all members of the ILO.