Govt assures all-out support to COMSATS, its S&T initiatives

Commission welcomes Gambia as its new member

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—The Government of Pakistan is committed to supporting the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) in view of the critical role it is playing for Science & Technology, capacity-building for poverty alleviation and fast-track development in the developing countries.
These views were shared by Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science & Technology while addressing the inaugural session of the 19th Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council.
This year, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) took the honour of hosting the Council meeting, which is annually held at one of the S&T institutions affiliated with COMSATS as its Network of Centres of Excellence. Out of the present 20 Centres of Excellence, 16 are participating in this year’s council that belong to China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Senegal, Syria, Tanzania and Tunisia. Representatives of some international organizations, namely UNESCO, ICGEB, SESRIC, and ECO Science Foundation, are also attending the meeting as observers.
Apart from the council members, the inaugural session was attended by the representatives from the government ministries and departments, S&T organizations, R&D institutions, and diplomatic missions of COMSATS’ Member States in Islamabad. Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, Chairman Board of Governors, National Centre for Physics (NCP), also graced the inauguration with his presence.
Maken expressed confidence in the international operations of COMSATS and lauded its services in the domain of science and technology to Pakistan and other Member States. He hoped that this international platform would be effectively used for finding scientific solutions to developing countries’ problems and lead them to economic prosperity.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr I E Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, highlighted the pivotal position the Council holds in coordinating international programmes with other statutory bodies of the organization. He noted that this platform having representation of renowned scholars, with wide experience and strong influence, well-recognized at national level in their countries, provides an opportunity for real-time scientist-to-scientist interactivity that renders invaluable opportunities of cooperation, exchange of ideas, and sharing of human and material resources.He expressed faith in the scientific leaders of Member States attending the Council meeting for coming up with an effective agenda to energize their respective governments to improve standards of their R&D institutes and to facilitate South-South Cooperation.
Dr. Eduardo Posada, Chairperson Coordinating Council, noted that dependence on developed countries for aid and intellectual support helps but is not sustainable and comes at a cost of national integrity and security. He emphasized the need for directing efforts to strengthen COMSATS, an organization of the developing countries, in order to improve its visibility and influence the decision-makers for the promotion of S&T for socio-economic development of the South.

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