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

COMSATS’ Science Ambassador Emeritus delivers Talk on Science Diplomacy

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The second lecture under COMSATS’ Science Diplomacy Programme was delivered by Executive Director COMSATS and COMSATS’ Science Ambassador Emeritus in the field of Science Diplomacy, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, in a select gathering of scholars and academicians at the Faculty Development Academy of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad, on February 29, 2016.

The lecture entitled ‘Science Diplomacy: An Overview’ outlined how ‘science’ and ‘diplomacy’ come together in various forms serving related but different purposes, i.e., one supporting the other and vice versa, as well as the two complementing one another for interaction with the outside world. Dr. Qureshi highlighted how the coupling of the two somewhat paradoxical terms leads to a whole that has helped individuals, groups and even nations overcome their intellectual and political differences, leading to stronger and wider collaborations across the globe.

The lecture provided a historical context of Science Diplomacy, as well as its reincarnation in the modern world. He highlighted the role of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Royal Society for the advocacy of science in the past. Defining the scope and dimensions of Science Diplomacy, the related mechanisms in place in developed countries were also discussed. It was noted that Science Diplomacy is being used as soft power by developed countries through disbursement of aid, technology-transfer and sharing of scientific know-how. Dr. Qureshi quoted the successful Science Diplomacy ventures, such as: European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and International Space Station (ISS). How the developing countries could benefit from Science Diplomacy was also discussed, especially in the context of Pakistan. It was noted that Science Diplomacy can help the developing countries on three major fronts: Capacity Building; South-South Cooperation; and preservation of National Resources. Dr. Qureshi also lauded the science diplomacy efforts of specific nature made by Cuba (Medicine), and Brazil (Agriculture), as well as other initiatives and institutional mechanisms applied in Africa (NM-AIST), Asia (ECO), and the Middle East (ESCWA).

Apart from COMSATS’ science diplomacy efforts since its creation in 1994, the organization’s recent activities in this regard after the first Round Table Meeting on Science Diplomacy in the South in February 2015 were recounted, which included: designation of Science Ambassadors, entering into collaboration with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and, participation in AAAS – TWAS joint training programmes, initiation of public lectures, and necessary media projection of the Science Diplomacy programme. Dr. Qureshi also indicated COMSATS’ other important interactions in this regard that include active liaison with the diplomatic missions in Pakistan and other Member States, and joint research programme, entitled COMSATS’ International Thematic Research Groups.

Dr. Qureshi concluded his lecture with two proposals from COMSATS for urging the Government and other relevant institutions of Pakistan; one urging appointment of a Science and Technology Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the other institutionalizing ‘Grand Challenges Pakistan’ for identifying and addressing major issues of Pakistan and working out their practical solutions through Science and Technology. It was noted that Canada, India, Israel, Thailand, Ethiopia, Brazil, Japan, China, as well as Africa are already benefitting from such initiatives taken by governments or independent organizations. Such programmes should be emulated to have targeted solutions for specific issues of the countries based on indigenous existing or improvised means.

The lecture was followed by a questions and answers session that had participation from individuals belonging to various fields of specialization and backgrounds, including, biosciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, management sciences, environment, and public policy. In addition to making queries regarding the contents of the lecture and making relevant recommendations, the participants appreciated COMSATS’ aforementioned proposals and advocated necessary campaigning in this regard. They also took stock of the fields of science and technology in Pakistan that need to be aided through Science Diplomacy, such as food security and health. It was agreed that politicians and policy makers need to be sensitized on such pressing matters by scientists and relevant organizations and institutions. Moreover, it was urged that science diplomacy should be fully utilized to motivate collaborations in matters of trans-border nature, such as climate change, pandemics, and regional conflicts.

At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Qureshi urged the participants to make concerted efforts to realize the objectives of Science Diplomacy, as well as to achieve the goals and targets suggested in their recommendations. Hoping to regularize the lecture series to a lecture every month, he invited them to become active participants of COMSATS’ Science Diplomacy Programme.

Upcoming Events

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).


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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