de Estados

Para la Educación,
la Ciencia
y la Cultura

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Brief history
Aims and targets
Information mail to weboei@oei.es


The Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI), is an intergovernmental organization for co-operation in the fields mentioned in the context of global development, democracy and regional integration.

The full member-states and observers are all the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries that integrate de Nations Community: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The OEI Secretary General headquarters is located in Madrid, Spain and it has also official representations in Santafe de Bogota (Colombia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lima (Peru), Mexico, D.F. (Mexico), San Salvador (El Salvador) and technical offices in Santiago (Chile), Tegucigalpa (Honduras) and Managua (Nicaragua).

The financing of OEI and their programs are covered among obligatory fees and voluntary contributions of Member States. Furthermore, institutions, foundations and other organizations fund of education's quality, and scientific-technologic and cultural development may contribute to the OEI financing.

Brief history

The OEI was born in 1949 under the denomination of "Oficina de Educación Iberoamericana". Its character is of an international agency as consequence of the I Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación, held in Madrid. In 1954, the II Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación, held in Quito, decided to transform the OEI into an intergovernmental, organization integrated by sovereign estates. In march of 1957, in the III Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación, held in Santo Domingo, were signed the first OEI Statutes, in force up to 1985.

In 1979, in Madrid the IV Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación was held; In 1983, Lima, was the seat of the V Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación, and in may of 1985, was held in Bogotá the Reunión Extraordinaria del Consejo Directivo. In that meeting was decided to change the old denomination of OEI by the new one, preserving the acronym and strengthening their targets. This modification affected also to the name of their supreme Organ of Government, the Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación, that was transformed in Asamblea General. In December 1985, during the 60ª Reunión del Consejo Directivo, held in Panamá, their members acted with the plenipotence of their respective Estates and with full power in the Asamblea General. There were signed the actual OEI Statutes, that adapted and replaced the statutory text of 1957 and were approved the Organic Regulations.

From the I Cumbre Iberoamericana de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno - First Summit of Chiefs of State and Government (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1991), the OEI has arranged and promoted the Conferencias de Ministros de Educación - Iberoamerican Conferences of Education", which are the meetings where the Ministries of Education of the Iberoamerican Region prepare the educational proposals for the above mentioned Summits (see Cumbres) where the OEI has been appointed to take care of the educational, scientific and cultural programs which are approved by the Summit.

Aims and targets

To fulfil its principles and obligations according to their Statutes, the Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, establishes the following general aims:

To help to strengthen the mutual knowledge and understanding, integration, solidarity and peace among iberoamerican countries through education, science, technology and culture.

To promote the development of education and culture as a feasible alternative for building peace, by means of preparing individuals for the responsible exercise of liberty and solidarity and for the defence of human rights and changes that may bring about a more just society in Iberoamerica.

To encourage educational, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges and to extend the integration experiences carried out as well as to transmit the results achieved throughout all iberoamerican and European countries.

To assist the Member States in order to achieve that the educational systems could fulfil a triple role of a humanist, social and economic nature. The first one, by strengthening the ethical, global and balanced development of new generations; as the second one, by ensuring equal educational opportunities and the last one, by preparing people to work and to help them to be enclosed in the labour market.

To cooperate in the dissemination of the culture, incorporating the science and technology advances and acknowledging the common identity of the different countries, taking advantage of the new codes in these fields.

To facilitate the relationship among science, technology and society in the iberoamerican countries, analysing the implications of science and technology development from a social outlook prospect and increasing its value and the understanding of its effects by all the citizens.

To promote a closest link among education, scientific-technological and cultural plans and any other development plan, always in behalf of men and in favour of a more equitable distribution of its products.

To promote and carry out co-operation programs at an horizontal level among Member States and between them and States and institutions of other regions.

To contribute to the diffusion of the Spanish and Portuguese languages. To improve among its methods and techniques of teaching as well as to preserve them among Spanish speaking cultural minorities living in other countries. To promote, at the same time, bilingual education in order to preserve the cultural identity of iberoamerican people of non Spanish origin.


The Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura is governed by its legislative body, the Asamblea General of OEI, and its delegated organs, Consejo Ejecutivo and Secretaría General. The Conferencias Iberoamericanas de Educación, Science and Culture act as a consultative organ of the OEI.

The Asamblea General is integrated by the official delegations of Member States and it is the highest authority of the Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura.

It is, at the same time, the legal body in charge of studying, evaluating and approving the OEI activities program and the general budget as well as the setting on the annual fees. Besides, it must elect the head of the Secretaría General for the established term.

The Executive Council is the governing and administrative body of OEI and consists of the Ministers of education of Member States or their representatives. It is presided over the Minister of Education of the country in which the next Asamblea General will take place, or by his representative.

Its main task is to consider and approve the activities Report, the Program, the biannual Budget and the financial Statement of the OEI.

The Secretaría General is the permanent executive organ of the OEI and keeps its representation in relationship with the rest of the Iberoamerican Governments, other Governments, International Organizations, and with associated institutions. Furthermore, the Secretaría General is under the technical responsibility and administrative direction of the OEI and carries the programs and projects.

The Secretaría General is internally structured by an flexible organization system, adapted to the politics, strategies and activities program of the OEI.

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