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

COMSATS Organizes Seminar to Commemorate UN’s South-South Cooperation Day

Home   /   COMSATS Organizes Seminar to Commemorate UN’s South-South Cooperation Day

COMSATS organized a Seminar on September 22, 2016, to commemorate the UN Day for South-South Cooperation, in Islamabad. The event was held in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Sciences, at the latter’s premises on the theme of ‘Framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan, was the Chief Guest at the event that was attended by over 90 participants including academicians, scientists, economists, entrepreneurs, sustainable development policy makers & practitioners, media and civil society; representatives of government, international development agencies, NGOs and education institutions.

In addition to the address of the Chief Guest and the opening remarks from the organizers, the event featured two keynote addresses, two technical talks, and a panel discussion session.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Buhne noted that dynamics of the world and cooperation patterns over the years are changing very fast, however, South-South Cooperation is still relevant in many ways. He said the development paradoxes in Pakistan are not much different from those in the developed countries. Despite a number of shortcomings, Pakistan is one of the earliest adopters of the SDGs at the parliament level, he added. The UN Resident Coordinator also laid emphasis on the importance of development indicators for assessing the progress made.

On behalf of the event organizers, Dr. Anwar Nasim, President of PAS, and Mr. Irfan Hayee, Deputy Director (Programmes) COMSATS, gave their opening remarks. Dr. Nasim strongly advocated the role of science academies in promoting S&T for sustainable development. In special connection to COMSATS, he recalled and recognized the services of Prof. Abdus Salam, who made invaluable contributions to the development of science and relevant institution building in developing countries. He hoped that the science complexes created for promotion of S&T would live up to their mandate and potential. Mr. Hayee noted that COMSATS’ programmes are consistent with the concepts of South-South cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals. He considered COMSATS’ Network of Centres of Excellence an important force in the organization of South-South Cooperation activities.

The keynote presented by Prof. Dr. Zabta K. Shinwari, Secretary General of PAS, entitled ‘From MDGs To SDGs & South-South Cooperation Needed for its Success’, highlighted the crucial relationship between science, society, and policy making. He highlighted the number of socio-economic challenges that need to be taken into account for making science and technology beneficial for the society. He believed that there could be no development without scientific intervention and solutions. He said most SDGs are interlinked, achieving one goal could have unintended consequences on others if pursued separately. Prof. Shinwari concluded his presentation by stressing the need for having concrete policies for South-South cooperation in efforts to overcome shared challenges and accelerate the progress towards sustainable development goals.

The second keynote address was given by Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani, Chairman, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), who was also representing the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. In his address entitled ‘Role of STI to the Three Dimensions/Pillars of Sustainable Development’, he pointed out the interdependence of various SDGs. He believed there is an over emphasis on one of the pillars of Sustainable Development, the Economy, without due consideration to the other two, i.e., society and environment. He considered political will and human resource development as the key factors that can drive sustainable development efforts. For successful achievement of SDGs, Dr. Gilani highlighted the need for country-specific need assessment and rationalizing the goals accordingly, as global agendas cannot be adopted as such for each nation. He considered the role of media very crucial in spreading awareness and highlighting the importance of scientific interventions for development.

Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Mr. Syed Tanvir Abbas Jafri, Incharge China Study Center, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) gave the technical talks on the occasion. Dr. Suleri shared people’s skepticism about the achievement of the Goals. He considered the SDG 16, ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’ the most important for an overall socio-economic development. He noted that although per capita incomes seem to be increasing, the disparity in incomes and inequality is still on the rise. He called for rationalizing expectations from the SDGs and modifying approaches for achievement of these Goals, especially in the light of the world’s experience with the MDGs.

Mr. Jafri’s talk, entitled ‘China: Exporting Sustainable Development’, dealt with the ‘One Belt one Door (OBOR)’ project of China, as a case study of South-South Cooperation. He informed that with trade as its major focus, China’s OBOR involves cooperation agreements with 65 countries and benefits many more. He discussed a number of related aspects of the programme, including financial, political, social and cultural. It was noted that a number of free trade agreements have been signed with stake-holding countries. He believed that despite the vast benefits this project may accrue for the countries involved, they need to remain sensitive towards their human resource and innovation needs.

The event concluded with an interactive panel discussion session, with the following panelists: Dr. Suleri; Dr. Nasim; Prof. Dr. N.M. Butt, Chairman PINSAT; Dr. Qasim Jan, Advisor COMSTECH; as well as Mr. Wasim Hashmi Syed, Advisor (HRD), who represented Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Chairman HEC, Pakistan. The panelists addressed questions and concerns raised by the audience related to the theme of the event.

At the conclusion, shields from the host institutions were given to the distinguished speakers.

Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Tue
2018
4th International Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology, Rabat, Morocco
Sep 25 – Sep 26 all-day

[ Brochure ] [ Registration Form ]

Climate-related natural disasters, emerging diseases, rapid growth of World population, and political and social conflicts poses growing threat to food security. These havocs have incapacitated the food availability chain ensuing hunger, poverty and malnutrition around the globe. It is a debilitating fact that globally 815 million people, accounting 11% of the world population, were undernourished in 2016 (FAO 2017) wherein the third-world is bearing the brunt. This scenario, calls for more proactive, innovative yet sustainable approach for attaining and sustaining food self-sufficiency. Besides, the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is a call for action ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

The rapidly pacing scientific advancements in the field of biotechnology can offer promising tools, techniques, methods and practices for enhancing agricultural productivity while conserving the natural resources in their best form for the future generations. Agriculture biotechnology – one of the arms of biotechnology – is the key to sustainable food systems, value-added crop production, improved nutrition and green economy.

Keeping in view the importance of above-mentioned issue, the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) are jointly organizing 4th International Conference on ‘Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology’, from 25th – 26th September 2018 in Rabat, Morocco. The Conference aims to provide an interactive platform to academicians, scientists and researchers to deliberate upon the burning issue of food insecurity while underpinning the significance of Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology.

Academicians, researchers, scientists, policy makers and implementers, and government officials working in the field of Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology in the developing countries are encouraged to participate in this international Conference.

OBJECTIVES

The key objectives of this international Conference are to:

  • Provide a forum to scientists, researchers, technologists and faculty members to update their knowledge and share know-how on the recent developments in the field of agriculture and biotechnology;
  • Build and strengthen linkages among R&D/S&T organizations working in the field of agriculture, biotechnology and food security for effective South-South cooperation;
  • Make recommendations to the policy-makers for developing policies and strategies in order to support biotechnology for food security in the common Member States of COMSATS and ISESCO.

HOW TO REGISTER

Applications for participation are required to be submitted through duly filled-in prescribed form to COMSATS and ISESCO, at the contact addresses given at the end of this announcement on or before Thursday, 16th August 2018.

Moroccan applicants may, however, send their applications till 10th September 2018 directly to ISESCO Headquarters, Rabat.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Travel grants and boarding and lodging will be provided by COMSATS and ISESCO to a limited number of individuals from the member countries of ISESCO and COMSATS, selected by the International Conference Scientific Committee.

THEMES

Agriculture

  • Crop breeding, improvement, protection and management
  • Agriculture and sustainable development
  • Agricultural innovation and technology
  • Agriculture Engineering and Agronomy

Food Security

  • Trends and challenges to food security
  • Food Nutrition Security: new concepts and strategies
  • Food safety regulation and standards
  • Food sovereignty, heritage & industry
  • Non-timper forest products and food security
  • Ecosystem based adaptation for food security

Biotechnology

  • Genetic improvement of crops using plant biotechnology
  • Functional genomics using genome editing technology
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Food and bioprocess technology
  • Patent, biosafety, biosecurity, plant breeders rights

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Ismaïla DIALLO
Science Directorate
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (ISESCO)
Tel: + 212 (0) 5 37 56 60 52
Fax: + 212 (0) 5 37 56 60 12-13
Email: idiallo@isesco.org.ma

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Phone: (+92-51) 9204892, 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: tajammul@comsats.org

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