Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Highlighted at COMSATS’ Forum

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Foreign missions of Embassy of China, European Union, and Palestine and delegates from UNIDO and UNDP and CIIT, Pakistan, endorsed the importance of South-South Cooperation for exchange of resources, technology, as well as knowledge between the developing countries of the global south at a forum conducted to celebrate United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation. The forum, themed ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, was organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) with support from the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPD) on 12th September 2017.

The event, held in Islamabad, had a strong attendance of over 110 from foreign missions in Islamabad, academia, R&D institutions and government representatives of Pakistan, as well as think tanks and international organization, and media. The representatives of foreign missions in Islamabad belonged to Iran, Malaysia, Tunisia, Oman, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Tajiskistan, Kyrgystan, Russia.

In his welcome address, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, thanked the speakers for sharing their valuable thoughts during the course of the event. He introduced COMSATS as the highest level forum for Science and Technology of the South, with Heads of States comprising its Commission. Dr. Zaidi informed that, taking its efforts of South-South cooperation forward, COMSATS is trying to establish new Centres of Excellence in COMSATS member countries, as well as working to expand the Network’s horizons to the North. The target of the organization is to at least achieve 50 members in tenure of 4 years. More and more collaboration is sought from the institutions and organizations in the North to increase the efficacy of the organization’s efforts for South-South cooperation in S&T for sustainable development. He advocated the need for utilizing the North’s experience for upgrading the institutions in the South.

Mr. Zhao Lijian, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, noted that China is on the mission to eradicate poverty and attributed its development to the efforts made in this regard. China, he noted, has eradicated poverty at a fast pace. With the formation and country wide implementation of proper laws, 700 million Chinese people have been raised above the poverty line, although 40 million people are still below the poverty line. China has planned to eliminate poverty by 2020. Mr. Lijian stated that the Chinese government has provided subsidies for education as well as health. Ecological conservation has also been made a priority for improving the lifestyle of people. He expressed that poverty can also be reduced by accelerating economic development by means of necessary infrastructure development in healthcare, education, transportation, etc.

H.E. Mr. Walid Abu Ali, Ambassador of State of Palestine to Pakistan, expressed his country’s commitment to South-South Cooperation despite being under occupation. Faced with a number of challenges, Palestine vows to work for Science and Technology based economic development in the South. He also highlighted the need to prioritize Africa while making such efforts and enhance the continent’s representation in Science and technology-led platforms, like COMSATS.

Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, noted that Science, Technology and Innovation are powerful tools for achieving sustainable development with due consideration towards climate change concerns of all the countries striving for and trying to sustain development. The 2014-2020 targets of European Union, she noted, are to enhance education and governance, provide public services, and contribute to peace and development. Mentioning Horizon 2020 (an EU project providing research and development opportunities in developing countries) in this perspective, she expressed that the goal is to produce world class scientists who work for the development of countries of the South as well as the North.

Mr. Esam Alqararah, Country Head, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), stated that his organization is working to promote South-South Cooperation not only through public sector but also private sector and NGOs. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation between developing countries is required for efficient sharing of knowledge, technology transfer, and designing of innovative programmes. He looked forward to having effective collaborations with COMSATS for reaching out to its member states with relevant initiatives.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shakeel Ahmad, Assistant Country Director (Development Policy Unit), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted the financial aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals. He believed that without due allocations of resources and pooling, the objectives and gains of these goals cannot be achieved. He believed that despite a fewer opportunities than challenges, the global South is emerging, but the transition from under developed state to developed state will take time.

Ambassador (R) Shahid Kamal, Advisor, Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad, who also moderated the Forum, shared his thoughts regarding the growing importance of the South, relevance and increasing involvement of North, role of Science and Technology in South-South Cooperation, and collaborative partnerships and programmes. He believed that ten out of the total seventeen SDGs are related to Climate Change one way or the other. Underscoring the role of science and technology, he considered it absolutely crucial for the developing countries to be able to get ahead in the competitive world.

The discussion and Q&A session at the end of the event touched upon the themes of: sustenance of S&T facilities and resources in the South for it to be able to exploit them for sustainable development; resilience of the traditional base in countries that have greatly alleviated poverty; and the narrative of brain drain vs. brain gain.

Ms. Farhat Asif, President, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, concluded the event with a vote of thanks.

Upcoming Events

Mar
11
Mon
2019
Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

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Theme: “Rational Use of Water Resources”

Background and Rationale of the Workshop

Many parts of the world today are confronted by an acute water crisis that has several facets, including water deprivation among the world’s poor, fast-rising global water demand and climate change. The water security and poverty nexus is a particularly serious issue for development. Economic activity and growth, which are necessary for job creation and raising incomes in developing countries, depend on adequate, affordable and reliable supplies of water.

One of the main goals of the UN to be achieved by 2030 is to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity” (SDG No. 6).

Introduction

Keeping in mind the SDG number 17: “Partnerships for the Goals”; the National Research Centre (NRC), Cairo and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamabad are co-organizing a workshop entitled “Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination”.

Aims and Objectives

The workshop is designed to be an intensive co-working for specialists in the academic, administration and industrial sectors in all subjects of interest related to Science, Technology and Innovation. It will give them an opportunity to discuss, exchange opinion and reach recommendations of how to maximize efforts for rational use of water resources.

Targeted Participants

This event targets a wide range of participants, including:

  • Young scientists working in Science, Technology and Innovation with specific emphasis on water resources.
  • Academician working in industrial and service sectors related to water resources, and
  • Mid-to senior-level government officials in related Ministries.

Language

All technical and discussion sessions of the workshop will be conducted in English language.

Financial Support

Accommodation for three nights in a suitable hotel and local transportation for international speakers and local administrative expenses of the workshop will be covered by NRC, Egypt. The economy class airfare and perdiam of the selected international speakers will be covered by COMSATS.

Themes

1. Water crisis in different parts of the world
2. Successful stories in water desalination
3. Successful stories in rational use of water in industrial sectors
4. Successful stories for rational use of water in agriculture
5. Future outlook regarding cooperative programs and projects among COMSATS Member States
6. Water recycling and utilization

How to Apply

Applications for participation (duly filled-in prescribed form, abstract of presentation, detailed CV and passport copy) are required to be submitted to NRC and COMSATS no later than Monday, 31st December 2018, at the following addresses:

Prof. Hosam El-Sayed
Assistant Vice President for Research &
International Relations
National Research Centre
33, El-Behouth St., 12311-Dokki,
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20 100) 544 36 51
Fax: (+202 333) 701010
E-mail: hosam@trdegypt.org, hosamelsayed58@gmail.com

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Apr
16
Tue
2019
The 22nd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, 16-17 April 2019, Tianjin, China
Apr 16 – Apr 17 all-day

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is pleased to announce the convening of the 22nd meeting of its Coordinating Council scheduled to be held in Tianjin, China, on 16 – 17 April 2019. The meeting will be hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence, the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. The meeting programme includes a visit to TIB’s laboratories on 18th April 2019.

The Coordinating Council meets every year, inter alia, to: review the activities of COMSATS’ Network; follow up on the decisions and recommendations made in the previous meeting; and outline the future course of action.

Invitations and Confirmation of Participation

The Executive Director COMSATS has extended invitations to all members of the Coordinating Council. The representatives of some international partner organizations have also been invited to participate in the meeting as Observers.

COMSATS Headquarters is closely coordinating with the host institution (TIB) to ensure timely arrangements.

Agenda and Working Paper

The provisional Agenda of the meeting has been prepared. The detailed Working Paper and associated documents of the meeting are under preparation and will be electronically distributed to the Council members and other invitees during first half of March 2019.

For further details, please contact:

COMSATS Secretariat, Pakistan TIB, China

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9204892
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: tajammul@comsats.org

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Prof. Dr. Jibin Sun
Deputy Director-General
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Tianjin, China
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: 0086-22-84861949
Fax: 0086-22-84861943
Email: sun_jb@tib.cas.cn

Ms. Qianqian Chai
Officer of Foreign Affairs and Academic Exchange
Division of Science and Technology Development
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS)
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: +86-2284861925
E-mail: chai_qq@tib.cas.cn
http://english.tib.cas.cn

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