Press Release


OAS and British Council Sign Cooperation Agreement

  November 14, 2012

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the British Council today signed a cooperation agreement to foster collaboration between the two organizations in order to promote international educational and cultural relations.

During the signing ceremony the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, said “this agreement is not the end goal but a beginning of what I am confident will soon be followed with concrete concerted initiatives for the mutual benefit of our peoples.” Secretary General Insulza noted that, while the missions of the two organizations to connect people have not changed since their respective beginnings, the global landscape has. “We operate now in the context of horizontal and triangular cooperation for development as well as public-private and private-private partnerships,” said the Secretary General. “The agreement we have just subscribed to today is a reflection of this new paradigm of skills sharing partnerships,” he added.

Signing the agreement in the House of the Americas in Washington had particular significance, said Secretary General Insulza, as it “so nobly reflects the aspirations of its members to achieve an order of peace, justice, solidarity, and cooperation.” “Moreover,” he added, “it beautifully embodies the rich and vital cultural heritage of the Americas.”

For his part, Paul Smith, Director of the British Council in the United States, said “We are delighted to partner with the Organization of American States, with whom we share a common purpose based on our mutual commitment to creating international opportunities, particularly for young people across the Americas region. By combining our expertise and strengths, we believe we will achieve more together than would be possible alone.”

The agreement, signed at the headquarters of the OAS in Washington, DC, covers cooperation between the two organizations in education, English language, creative industries and the arts, virtual training, and policy dialogue. Specifically, it binds both to “give consideration to developing special cooperation relations in areas of common interest,” such as the development and implementation of joint research projects; the promotion of public policy dialogue and exchange of best practices on education, creative industries and culture; capacity building for quality education and skills training, including through educational and student exchanges, teacher preparation and professional development; English language teaching and training; development of virtual training and improved use of information and communication technologies and social media; the arts; the promotion of creative and cultural industries; and culture-based programming.

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations. The organization works in more than 100 countries to promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and to strengthen links that result in mutual benefits between the United Kingdom and other countries.

Present at the meeting were the Permanent Observer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the OAS, Philip Barton; the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin; the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Mexico, Ambassador Joel Hernandez; the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Jorge Saggiante, and the representatives of several Members States of the Organization.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Reference: E-410/12