Agreement concerning the establishment
of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies
The States Parties to the present Agreement,
Bearing in mind that Central Asia, by virtue of its geographic location and rich historic legacy, has played a vital role in the transmission of cultural, scientific and religious ideas between East and West, North and South,
Fully aware that the common cultural heritage, both physical and non-physical, generated by the encounter of Central Asian peoples, spiritual traditions, science and culture, represents an invaluable contribution to world civilization and the dialogue of cultures, and deserves to be studied, rehabilitated and made better known,
Recalling the contribution which UNESCO-sponsored activities have made to the evolution of the idea of the setting up of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies, and the recommendation to create an institute for Central Asian studies made by leading scholars participating in the Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue, a major project of the World Decade for Cultural Development,
Desirous of continuing and strengthening their co-operation through a multidisciplinary study of the region, and of establishing to this effect the necessary structures and modalities,
Have agreed as follows:
Establishment of the Institute
- The International Institute for Central Asian Studies (hereinafter called “IICAS”) is
hereby established. It shall have its seat in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The centre in Samarkand
and its branches in the other Member States of the Institute shall together form a network,
it being understood that individual branches may focus on a particular discipline, area or
field of study.
- The present Agreement shall constitute the Statute of IICAS.
IICAS shall exercise the following functions in the domains of the physical and non-physical cultural heritage, environment, archaeology, history, history of art, history of religions, history of sciences, ethnography, historical geography, written and oral literature and the social sciences;
- co-ordinate, stimulate or institute research in these domains (including publication and
translation of specialist academic material),
- collect, study and circulate documentation (including the publication of a periodic
information Bulletin and the creation of a network of data-bases),
- give advice and recommendations on general or specific points concerned with the above
domains, in particular with the restoration, preservation and protection of the cultural
- assist in training research workers (including the exchange of specialists).
- organize regular joint scientific sessions, conferences and symposiums.
The membership of IICAS shall consist of States – members of the United Nations and its specialized agencies which have become parties to the present Agreement in conformity with its Article 17.
The following shall be eligible for Associate Membership of IICAS: public or private institutions and non-governmental organizations of a scientific or cultural nature. Admission to Associate
Membership shall be by decision of the Academic Council of IICAS, taken by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting and, where necessary, with the consent of the Member State to which the applicant belongs, if the said Member State so requires.
Corresponding Members will include individuals admitted on a personal basis by decision of the Academic Council of IICAS taken by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, and, where necessary, with the consent of the Member State to which the applicant belongs, if the said Member State so requires.
IICAS shall comprise a General Assembly, an Academic Council and a Secretariat.
The General Assembly: Composition
The General Assembly shall consist of delegates of the States belonging to IICAS, each of which shall be represented by one delegate, as well as the representative of UNESCO 1.
These delegates should be chosen from amongst the best qualified specialists and if possible representing specialized institutions concerned with the fields specified in article 2.
Associate Members may be represented at sessions of the General Assembly by observers, who shall be entitled to speak and to submit proposals, but not to vote.
The General Assembly shall meet in ordinary session every two years. It may also be convened in extraordinary session by the Academic Council. Unless the General Assembly or the Academic Council decides otherwise, the General Assembly shall meet in Samarkand and, if needed, in Paris on the occasion of the General Conference of UNESCO, or elsewhere on the invitation of a Member State.
The General Assembly shall elect its President and one or more Vice-Presidents at the beginning of each regular session. This nomination should reflect the principle of balance and rotation between Member States.
The General Assembly shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure. It shall endeavour to reach its decisions by consensus.
The General Assembly: Functions
The functions of the General Assembly shall be to
- decide on the general policy of IICAS;
- elect the members of the Academic Council;
- appoint the Director of IICAS, on the proposal of the Academic Council;
- consider the reports on the activities of IICAS submitted to it by the Academic Council;
- supervise the financial operations of IICAS, examine and approve its programme and
- fix the contributions, including their possible forms, of members, associate members and
- decide on the appropriate measures with regard to Member which may be in arrears
with the payment of their contributions.
Academic Council: Composition
- The Council shall consist of scholars or other specialists elected by the General Assembly
among the candidates nominated by the Member States, as well as the representative of UNESCO 2;
- The number of members elected should not be less than twelve. This number may be increased by one person for each group of five Member States after the first thirty.
- Members shall be elected for a term of four years, and shall be eligible for re-election 3.
- The Council shall elect its Chairperson and one or more Vice-Chairpersons on the basis of balance and rotation between Member States.
- The Director of IICAS, representatives of other institutions, and experts appointed by
the Council may attend the meetings of the Council in an advisory capacity. Except that
they shall not be entitled to vote, they shall participate in the work and discussions of
the Council on the same footing as the members proper.
(f) The Council shall meet at least once a year.
(g) Ad hoc working groups may be formed from among members of the Academic Council and specially invited experts whenever this is deemed necessary for the execution of the Council’s tasks.
(h) The Council shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure. It shall endeavour to reach its decisions by consensus.
The Academic Council: Functions
The functions of the Academic Council shall be to:
- carry out the decisions and directives of the General Assembly;
- exercise such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Assembly;
- evaluate the on-going programme of activities and give recommendations for future
- establish the draft budget, on the proposal of the Director, but prior to the submission
of the draft to the General Assembly, it should send the draft budget to the Member
States for their comments and views;
- examine and approve the work plan submitted by the Director including specific research
work carried out by members of IICAS;
- propose a candidate for the post of Director of the Institute to the General Assembly.
The Secretariat shall consist of the Director and such staff as IICAS may require.
The Director shall be appointed by the General Assembly, on the proposal of the Academic Council, for a four-year period, with possible extension of the term for two years only and not be eligible for reappointment for a subsequent term 4. The appointment of the first Director shall be made during the first session of the General Assembly. He/she should possess high academic and professional qualifications. The appointment of the Director should reflect the principle of balance and rotation between Member States.
Assistants to the Director shall be appointed, on the proposal of the Director, by the Academic Council, and may not be of the same nationality as the Director. Appointments to any vacancies occurring in the intervals between sessions of the Council shall be made by the Director, subject to confirmation by the Council, which shall also fix the term of office.
The other members of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Director.
In the discharge of their duties, the Director and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any authority external to IICAS.
IICAS’ resources shall derive from:
- Contributions from its Member States (these could either be calculated according to the
possibilities of each country, or on the basis of 1% of their contributions to UNESCO).
- Associate and Corresponding Members’ fees;
- Grants from public and private institutions, organizations and individuals;
- Extra-budgetary contributions from Governments and other sources;
- Contributions from UNESCO, World Heritage Fund, international governmental and non
governmental bodies for specific projects;
- Sale of publications, fees for cultural events and other activities;
- fees for the use of the facilities of IICAS (e.g. conference rooms and other facilities,
board and lodging).
Co-operation with UNESCO and with other organizations
IICAS shall co-operate with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It may also, by decision of the Academic Council taken by a two-thirds majority of its members, co-operate with other organizations and institutions. To this effect, IICAS may conclude agreements with UNESCO and other organizations and institutions.
- IICAS shall have legal personality and shall enjoy such legal capacity on the territory of
Uzbekistan as well as on the territories of other Member States as may be necessary for the
exercise of its functions and the fulfillment of its purposes.
- An agreement concerning the headquarters of IICAS and its privileges and immunities on
the territory of Uzbekistan shall be concluded between IICAS and the Government of
Uzbekistan, in co-operation with UNESCO.
Amendments to the present Agreement may be adopted by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting; provided, however, that those amendments which involve fundamental alterations in the aims of IICAS or new obligations for Member States shall require subsequent acceptance on the part of two-thirds majority of the Member States before they come into force.
Withdrawal of Member States
Any member may give notice of withdrawal from IICAS at any time after the expiry of a period of two years from the date of its accession. Such notice shall take effect one year after the date on which it is communicated to the Director of IICAS, provided that the member concerned has, on that date, paid its contribution for all the years during which it belonged to IICAS, including the financial year following the date of the notice of withdrawal. The Director of IICAS shall communicate said notice to all members and to the depository of the present Agreement.
- States may become parties to the present Agreement by:
- signature with no reservation as to subsequent acceptance;
- signature followed by acceptance;
- Acceptance shall be effected by deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Director-
General of UNESCO who shall be the depository of the present Agreement.
Entry into force
This Agreement shall enter into force when five States have become parties to it in accordance with Article 17 above.
In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorized for that purpose, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Samarkand in the English, French and Russian languages, each version being equally authentic and having the same force, this fifth day of July 1995.
1. Paragraph amended by the General Assembly of IICAS at its 6th session (Tashkent, 2007).
2. Paragraph amended by the General Assembly of IICAS at its 6th session (Tashkent, 2007).
3. Paragraph amended by the General Assembly of IICAS at its 4th session (Paris, 2001).
4. Paragraph amended by the General Assembly of IICAS at its 9th session (Tashkent, 2011).