Despite the international nature of its position and role, ICMI from time to time lends its name to a variety of regional meetings on mathematics education, primarily in less affluent parts of the world. Launched in the mid-seventies, the series of ICMI Regional Conferences then had as an explicit aim to facilitate wider discussion of mathematical education issues outside those areas of Europe and America where international meetings on the subject had mainly been held before. A number of Regional Conferences have taken place over the years, the aim being to foster reflection, action and co-operation among mathematicians, mathematics educators and teachers in as many regions of the world as possible. These meetings are supported morally by ICMI, and sometimes with a modest financial contribution as well.
In order to be granted the status of an ICMI Regional Conference, some criteria have to be met by the organising committee.
Among the ICMI Regional Conferences, some stand out as belonging to one of four strands occurring on a regular basis:
The Africa Regional Congress of ICMI on Mathematical Education was launched in 2005 and aims at offering a forum for mathematics educators throughout Africa.
The Conferencia interamericana de educación matemática — Inter-American Conference on Mathematical Education has been organized, since the early 1960s, by the Comité Interamericano de Educación Matemática - Inter-American Committee on Mathematical Education to promote discussion amongst Latin-American countries. It is held every four years in between ICME conferences.
EARCOME is the name given to the ICMI-East Asia Regional Conferences in Mathematics Education.
The EARCOME series grew out of earlier conferences in the region. The South East Asia Conferences on Mathematics Education (SEACME) series began in 1978 in Manila, and thereafter conferences were held at three-year intervals at Kuala Lumpur (1981), Haad Yai (1984), Singapore (1987), Brunei (1990), Surabaya (1993), Hanoi (1996), and Manila again in 1999. In addition there have been two ICMI-China Regional Conferences on Mathematics Education, in Beijing (1991) and Shanghai (1994).
EARCOME-1, held in 1998 in Korea, was independent of these series, but EARCOME-2 came together with SEACME-9 in Singapore in 2002. The EARCOME series replaced the SEACME series thereafter.
Launched by the French Sub-Commission of ICMI on the occasion of the World Mathematical Year 2000, the series of Espace Mathématique Francophone conferences is built on a notion of "region" defined in linguistic rather than geographical terms, French being a common language among participants.
Other ICMI Regional Conferences occur on a more ad hoc basis, such as the Escuela Latinoamericana de Historia y Epistemología de las Matemáticas - Latin-American School on History and Epistemology of Mathematics, ELHEM (Cali, Colombia, November 2002), or the All-Russian Conference on Mathematical Education (Dubna, Russia, September 2000)