The Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) was created in the context of an international convention signed in Rome on June 1st 1966 by Italy and 20 Latin American nations (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela).
According to Article 1 of the Convention the Institute’s aims are:
- to develop and coordinate research and documentation regarding the problems, achievements and prospects of its Member Countries in cultural, scientific, economic, technical and social contexts;
- to disseminate the results of the above research and documentation among its Member Countries;
- to identify, also in the light of the above results, concrete possibilities for exchange, mutual assistance and common or concerted action in the above mentioned sectors.
In pursuing these aims IILA carries out the following activities:
- In the area of culture it creates activities aimed at spreading awareness of Latin American literature and other forms of art and at shedding light on the contribution made by the Italian presence: exhibitions, encounters with Latin American writers and filmmakers, literary awards, concerts, theatrical performances, and the publication of studies and research.
- In the socio-economic sphere IILA has diversified its activities over the years. Alongside the workshops, round tables and international conferences on financial, economic and social policy that it organises, it has also begun to sponsor collaboration with the principal Latin American regional and sub-regional institutions. It also collaborates with the European Commission on the assignment and execution of specific projects as well as through participation in projects that avail themselves of Community instruments for the support of Euro-Latin American SMEs. Collaboration is also developed between Member Country universities and other national institutions and local Italian bodies through training programmes targeting local administrators and young Latin American entrepreneurs.
- In the area of science and technology IILA foregrounds sectors of particular importance in the Latin American context such as healthcare, the environment, geology, food, energy and human resources through workshops, symposiums, studies, research and training courses carried out in collaboration with the governments, scientific and academic institutions and specialised agencies of Member Countries.
- IILA also operates as an effective cooperation tool for the implementation of development projects in various fields of action supported by the Italian Development Cooperation, the Directorate General for the Globalization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as in the context of European initiatives. This is expressed through projects of national, regional or sub-regional importance in sectors considered as a priority both by our country and by the Latin American countries. The projects concern in particular institutional strengthening, capacity building training, support of SMEs and cooperatives (in particular women), the enhancement and protection of cultural heritage, the development of crafts and the recovery of ancient crafts, technical-scientific training, the agri-food sector. The Organisation also operates in projects in the fields of peace, justice and security (humanitarian demining, fight against transnational organized crime) financed by the Directorate General for Globalization, and participates in projects of the European Commission as “Eurosocial” in favour of social cohesion in Latin America and “El Paccto” for the support of security and the fight against organized crime in the Subcontinent.
The Institute consists of the following bodies:
- The President: represents the institute and convenes and chairs meetings of the Council of Delegates and Executive Committee;
- The Council of Delegates: made up of one delegate per Member Country. This is the body that steers the Institute in its activities, as stipulated in the convention establishing it, through organic and periodic work plans that allow Member Countries to effectively participate in the Institute’s activities. The Council elects the President and Vice Presidents, appoints a Secretary, issues directives to the Secretary regarding pursuance of the Institute’s aims, programmes and management of patrimony, approves the budget and biannual reports of the Secretary on the Institute’s activities, establishes statistical criteria by which to determine the contributions of individual Member Countries, and authorises the President to accept bequests, donations and subsidies;
- The Executive Committee: made up of the President of the Institute and three Vice Presidents. It makes decisions on questions put to it by the Council of Delegates.
The Secretariat: consisting of the Secretary and three Deputy Secretaries. The Secretary is appointed by the Council of Delegates and has a three-year mandate that can be renewed for another three-year period. The Secretary coordinates the Institute’s activities under the direction of the President according to the decisions and proposals of the Council of Delegates