The purposes for which this organization was established in 1938 - and the aims which, in collaboration with UNESCO, it pursues - are as follows:
- To establish and maintain a center of information for Phoneticians;
- To secure and develop contacts with kindred scientific organizations and to assist the establishment of such organizations in countries where none exist;
- To promote training and research in the field of Phonetics in all countries and at all levels of the education system;
- To encourage research and teaching in new and/or specialized fields of Phonetics, particularly in matters where the Phonetic Sciences have not penetrated duly;
- To affect the practical application of Phonetics in the teaching of foreign languages;
- To promote the arrangement of scientific meetings on Phonetic topics, for instance by endorsing requests for official support, through patronage and other forms of initiative.