President urges Muslim states to join hands for promotion of science, technology
Islamabad—President Mamnoon Hussain on Tuesday urged upon the Muslim countries to join hands in promotion of science and technology to find ways to end poverty and ensure provision of basic facilities to their people. “Muslim countries need to increase their budget for scientific research as skilful human resource is the basis of a developed society,” the President said in his address at the inauguration of 15th session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).
Pakistan is hosting the two-day COMSTECH General Assembly in the capital, where delegates from 57 Muslim countries have gathered to propose a 10-year plan worth $2.1 billion comprising initiatives for promotion of science and technology. President Mamnoon Hussain, also the Chairman COMSTECH, said promotion of science is the best expression of human abilities and mentioned that for the same reason, the Muslims scientists had played a significant role till 16th century.
He regretted that despite abundant resources, the contribution of Muslim countries at present for science and technology was negligible. He mentioned that in comparison with the developed world, the combined budget of Muslim countries in the field of science and technology was only 2.4 percent, the ratio of research papers was six percent and internationally recognized patent inventions were just 1.5 percent. “Due to this backwardness, we have not been able to prepare scientists and engineers and are relying on developed countries to fulfill our technical needs,” he said.
Mamnoon Hussain termed scientists the “best asset of a society” and expressed hope that the conference would prove successful in reviving the glowing Muslim traditions of a strong scientific foundation. He lauded COMSTECH for initiating several programmes for promotion of science and technology including training courses, workshops and seminars besides providing scholarships to scientists of members countries. He expressed confidence that the conference would help the OIC countries achieve the Untied Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Secretary General OIC Iyad Ameen Madani said the world was facing challenges related to energy, environment and water scarcity, to which, he said socially-sensitive solutions based on innovation was need of the hour. He said OIC was contributing towards improved healthcare particularly polio eradication and cancer treatment. President Islamic Development Bank Ahmed Muhammad Ali said the Bank was focusing on providing finances for technological training and scholarships for promotion of science.
Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan Babur Girgin read out the message of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is the current OIC Chairman. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain said Pakistan was committed for the promotion of innovation and scientific research for betterment of people’s lives. Meanwhile, Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Standing Committee on Science and Technology approved a ten-year action plan for scientific development in Muslim World.
President Mamnoon Hussain chaired First Plenary Session of 15th COMSTECH General Assembly Meeting in which this plan was approved. On the occasion, OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali and COMSTECH Coordinator General Dr Shaukat Hameed Khan were also present. The purpose of the ten-year action plan is to promote science and technology in the Muslim world. Some 159 leading scientists and thinkers of 20 OIC members countries were involved in the preparation of the action plan.