ECO Cultural Institute (ECI)
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Member States.
ECO is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence since 1964 up to 1979.
In 1992, the Organization was expanded to include seven new members, namely: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.
Following RCD's transformation into ECO , and its later enlargement and growth to ten Member States, it has since assumed a special role as a viable regional organization, bringing together the ten states of the region, with common culture and shared history located in one of the most strategic areas of the globe. It was against these backgrounds that the need for the revival of the former Cultural RCD was felt following the expansion of ECO from a trilateral entity (Iran, Pakistan, Turkey) into a major regional organization. Revival of the Cultural Institute was visualized in Article II of the Treaty of Izmir, with the objective; " To consolidate cultural affinities and spiritual and fraternal ties that bind the people of the Member States through social and cultural channels of thought and action".
The formal endorsement of the revival of the Cultural Institute under its present name was finally manifested through the signing of its Charter at the Third ECO Summit Meeting held at Islamabad on 14-15 March 1995 and Tehran was selected as its Headquarters.
ECI Aims and Objectives
1. To foster and promote closer association and cooperation among the people of the region, in general, and among mass media, intellectuals and artists, in particular.
2. To carry out researches in the common cultural heritage of the countries of the region for the purpose of strengthening the awareness of their indivisible unity and for bringing out those traditions which bind the people of the region together.
3. To publish the result of their studies in the form of books, monographs and periodicals in English, and in the languages of the region (as far as possible).
4. To publish selected works of the eminent contemporary writers, painters, photographers, and etc. of the Member States in English and in the languages of the region.
5. To make arrangements for the teaching of the languages of the region in the Institute and its branches if possible, as well as to adopt effective measures for promotion of these languages in the universities and other language institutes of the region.
6. To coordinate cultural exchange programs such as visits of scholars, teachers, writers, artists, guest-speakers, eminent personalities, students, youth and members of the women's organizations.
7. To promote cooperation amongst the universities and other cultural institutions of the region.
8. To organize programs of exchange of academics in the field of culture.
9. To host literary educational and cultural functions and exhibitions reflecting the cultural and social life of the people of the Member countries.
10. To organize exhibitions of folk, traditional and modern arts.
11. To undertake the responsibility of ECO Awards in the field of literature and fine arts. The program shall be carried out annually and the modality for the ECO Award shall be worked out by the Institute.
12. To conduct and coordinate the programs of the ECO Cultural Week.
13. To make arrangements for the exchange of documentary feature films and radio/TV package programs related to the life, customs and social activities of the region.
14. To promote cooperation in the field of history, demography, anthropology, archaeology and preservation and restoration of the common cultural, architectural heritage of the region.
15. To establish network connection among cultural centers, national libraries and museums of the region to exchange books, manuscripts and valuable pieces of arts, slides/microfilms of the old books.
16. To exchange training programs for scholars in reparation and immunization of the old books and manuscripts.
17. To establish and expand libraries so as to provide books, magazines, newspapers and audio-visual material and equipment mainly related to the life and culture of the people of the Member States and to provide reproduction facilities for the benefit of the scholars, teachers, journalists, etc.
18. To promote regional cooperation pertaining to sports.
19. To promote cooperation between the news agencies of the region by means of establishing network connection among them.
20. To publish a quarterly journal in English and to the extent possible in national languages of the region in local branches and Farsi in Headquarters to:-
a) Promote further understanding amongst the people of the region; focusing on literature, folklore, traditional music and national customs of the Member States.
b) Stimulate the interest of the people of the Member countries to the existing cultural, educational and social problems of the region.
c) Disseminate the news of the cultural events convening in the region such as conferences, seminars, congress, etc.
21. To take any other necessary measures to promote deeper understanding and closer ties amongst the people of the region through cultural programs.