International Forums

APEC: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a multilateral forum with 21 member economies. Its main objective it to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Education is one of many topics addressed within the forum, and the member economies work together to promote quality education, ensure sustainable development, and facilitate academic and professional mobility. The Department of Education coordinates U.S. participation in the APEC Education Ministers Meetings, as well as U.S. involvement in the joint activities undertaken within APEC’s Education Network (EDNET).

OAS: The Organization of American States (OAS) is the primary multilateral organization for the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Its primary missions include the promotion of democracy, human rights, security, and development. Education is an important component of all four missions, and the OAS promotes regional dialogue on education by convening education ministers every two years. The OAS also facilitates information sharing and joint activities through its working-level Inter-American Committee on Education (CIE).  The Department of Education coordinates U.S. participation in education ministerial meetings and the CIE.

OECD: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a multilateral organization whose member countries are committed to pluralistic democracy and market economics. The member countries include the leading industrialized countries in Europe, North and South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Participating in OECD allows the United States to compare its educational system with the systems of other industrial countries.  The Department of Education, and especially the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), has been very active in the educational data collection & research work of OECD.  In addition, senior officials from the Department of Education represent the United States at OECD education meetings and events. The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), an international study of teachers, principals, and the learning environment in schools, is one of the major outputs resulting from OECD education cooperation.

UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 193 member states and eleven associate members. UNESCO’s purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science and culture. Education is a significant UNESCO focus, with priorities to improve quality, access and equity at all levels, from early childhood and basic literacy to higher education and lifelong learning.  The Department of Education works with the Department of State to support U.S. engagement with UNESCO.

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