Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence since 1964 up to 1979. Following RCD's transformation into ECO, and its special role as a viable regional organization, bringing together the ten states of the region, with common culture and shared history located in one of the most strategic areas of the globe, the need for the revival of the former Cultural RCD was felt. Revival of the Cultural Institute was visualized in Article II of the Treaty of Izmir, with the objective; " To consolidate cultural affinities and spiritual and fraternal ties that bind the people of the Member States through social and cultural channels of thought and action". The formal endorsement of the revival of the Cultural Institute under its present name was finally manifested through the signing of its Charter at the Third ECO Summit Meeting held at Islamabad on 14-15 March 1995 and Tehran was selected as its Headquarters.
Since its inception, and in order to realize the goals and objectives set in its Charter, ECI has hosted series of literary and cultural functions, organized exhibitions of folk, traditional and modern arts, taken measures to promote regional cooperation through organizing major sports events, published materials in English and other major languages of the region on the common cultural heritage of its Member States to promote further understanding amongst its people, stimulate the interest of the people of the member countries towards the existing cultural, educational and social problems of the Region and disseminate information on the cultural events of the Region.