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

COMSATS holds Seminar to Commemorate the UN Day for South-South Cooperation

Home   /   COMSATS holds Seminar to Commemorate the UN Day for South-South Cooperation

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) held a National Seminar on ‘South-South Cooperation: Towards a Sustainable Future’, in Islamabad, on 14 September 2015, to commemorate the UN Day for South-South cooperation (September 12, 2015). The chief guest of the seminar was Director-General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), Ambassador (R) Masood Khan, while the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I.E. Qureshi; and Assistant Country Director and Chief Development Policy Unit of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Shakeel Ahmad participated in the event as speakers in the inaugural session. There were more than 65 participants in the seminar, including, diplomats, academicians, scientists, economists, CIIT faculty and students, as well as representatives of media and civil society. The inauguration was followed by a technical session comprising of highly informative talks by four eminent speakers.

Ambassador Khan in his inaugural address noted that the success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will largely depend on judicious utilization of both the South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation mechanisms. He was of the view that to realize SDGs, the UN and other development agencies of the world now need to have greater focus on the developing economies, considering that in the future the bulk of the middle class would be living in the South. He noted that in the past, financial support from the developed nations in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) has benefited some developing countries on one hand, and led to chronic over-dependence of some, on the other. He remarked that the North must continue to fulfill its obligation towards ODA to the developing economies; nonetheless, the South should make sincere efforts to fully exploit its indigenous resources for its development. He opined that South-South cooperation is and should remain a level playing field for the developing countries. Pakistan, he added, needs to make conscious efforts to benefit from South-South cooperation, such as Pak-China Economic Corridor, which he noted is the largest South-South cooperation programmes. He opined that Pakistan as a developing economy should endeavor to re-position itself as a regional hub for trade and commerce, and needs to go global as far as trade is concerned. The country should find new markets in Africa, East Asia and other parts of the world for its goods and services, while simultaneously opening up for bilateral trade with other developing economies. The country should tap the potential of science and technology for accelerated development and fully exploit R&D in emerging technologies, such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. He concluded with the hope that COMSATS would continue to play a transformative role with other UN agencies in meeting the global sustainable development agenda.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Director COMSATS thanked Ambassador (R) Masood Khan for gracing the occasion with his presence and recalled his enormous services to the country as career diplomat. He noted that South-South cooperation is a broad term which has replaced the earlier concept of ‘technical cooperation among developing countries’ (TCDC) to include various other dimensions of development cooperation. He said that the sub-theme of this seminar was cautiously chosen to be ‘towards a sustainable future’ in view of the future aspirations for the developing countries set out in the Brundtland Commission Report (1987) and Rio+20 outcome documents entitled ‘The Future We Want’. In the context of ‘future sustainability’, he pointed out the lack of capacity of developing countries to effectively use their indigenous resources. Dr. Qureshi informed that this seminar is being held at an auspicious occasion when the leaders from around the world are meeting at UN Headquarters to adopt the post-2015 Development Agenda. Dr. Qureshi noted that the obligations stipulated in the SDGs have more or less been a part and parcel of COMSATS’ programmes owing to the mandate given to the organization in its international agreement signed by the Member States in 1994 as well as the Charter of COMSATS’ Network of Centres of Excellence. He opined that COMSATS is a living example of a long-haul commitment to triangular and South-South cooperation programmes.

In his talk, entitled ‘South-South learning in the context of Sustainable Development’, Mr. Shakeel Ahmad, Assistant Country Director UNDP, noted that the Global South is gradually becoming a source of ODA to other countries (least developed countries). Referring to UNDP Human Development Report (2013), he said that by 2020, the combined economic output of three leading developing countries namely, Brazil, China, and India, is expected to surpass the aggregate production of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. The emergence of new economic blocs like BRICS further accentuates the rise of the Global South. He noted that South-South Cooperation is becoming more of a necessity than just one of the options for achieving growth and human development in the South. He said that the statistics of developing countries essentially point towards the wealth of knowledge and innovation that the South is accumulating as their economies grow, and also suggest an unequivocal potential and opportunities that the countries of the South and South Asia in particular could explore for achieving SDGs.

The technical session of the seminar comprised of four insightful presentations and talks on different aspects of South-South cooperation.

Ambassador (R) Sohail Amin, President Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Islamabad, gave a historic overview of South-South cooperation. He noted that the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, held in 1978, and high-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, held in 2009, constitute major milestones in the evolution of South-South and triangular cooperation. Major developments in South-South cooperation also date back to the preceding decade that have accelerated the developing countries’ drive for collective self-reliance. These developments included the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1961 and the Group of 77 (G-77) in 1964. He stressed on South-South cooperation as an essential mechanism to support the overall development objectives of the developing countries and to strengthen cooperation among their economic, environmental, cultural and social sectors.

In his power-point presentation, Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization (WMO), discussed key aspects of climate change in the global development framework. He noted that the emphasis of all the stakeholders at the upcoming annual Conference of Parties to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris this year would be that every nation should contribute towards reducing the GHG emissions. To respond to the climate change, the counties will have to adapt to the new conditions and take measures to mitigate its effect.

The third speaker of the technical session, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, highlighted the role being played by SDPI, an independent think tank, in the global efforts for sustainable development. He pointed out some key areas in which SDPI made learning about the solutions to social issues from other countries and tried to adopt them in Pakistan’s context. Among the factors that helped social sector development in Pakistan are: rise of media; rise of independent judiciary; rise of self-funded/self-organized efforts by communities; and empowered youth. He pointed out that the major threats to Pakistan’s development are its shrinking exports in global markets and its declining trade with the neighboring countries. He asserted that there is a need for coordinated extraordinary efforts by the private-sector and the government to come out of the crisis.

The last speaker of the seminar, Dr. Talat Anwar, Advisor, Centre for Policy Studies, CIIT-Islamabad, in his talk touched upon the emerging economic trends in the context of South-South cooperation. He noted that intra-regional trade has expanded to become regional trade. He informed that the countries have liberalized trade through foreign direct investment (FDI) and that middle and low-income countries have received a great inflow of FDI that has played a great role in their development. He noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the highest FDI (as percent of GDP), i.e 6.8%, and that Pakistan has not been able to fully benefit from FDI due to its security situation. He was of the view that China needs to direct its savings to other developing countries for a mutual gain, as it would also earn dividends to China in the long run. Dr. Anwar also recounted some challenges to economic cooperation that the developing countries are facing. These included the substantial non-tariff barriers; challenges to alter anti-dumping; as well as perception of sharply unequal benefits to individual countries.

The seminar concluded on the note of optimism towards South-South cooperation as effective means to benefitting the developing countries.

Upcoming Events

Seminar on SDGs Implementation: The Collaboration among Universities
Dec 12 all-day

[ Event Flyer ]

The Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social-Sciences (IUCPSS), the largest alliance of more than 45 private and public universities, is launching its latest initiative entitled the ‘International Student Convention & Expo 2019: Securing Our Future’, an expo that runs from 10-13 December, 2018 at the Pak-China Friendship Center, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The event would provide an opportunity to Pakistani youth by providing a platform for interaction, networking and a range of diverse learning activities spread across the three days.

The event comprises of participation from 100+ Universities and Vice-Chancellors, 30+ countries, and 300+ international students to align youth efforts with global challenges and demands to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to channelize the youth to attain the SDGs, IUCPSS in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and the Commission of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is holding a Seminar entitled ‘SDGs Implementation: The Collaboration among Universities’, on 12th December, 2018.

The Seminar would be an open forum to formulate clusters for the realization of the SDGs amongst the participating Universities, comprising of interactive brainstorming among the participants with an exclusive focus on the 17 SDGs. The session would initiate a process where the participants would voluntarily align their respective institutions with one or more than one SDGs and show commitment in formulating a plan with other participating Universities in the same areas of interest. Universities’ involvement in this event at the highest level will provide roadmap to the educational institutions in Pakistan towards achieving these goals. The seminar would be marked with the presence of leading figures, experts, and policy and decision makers to share their ideas on the realization of the SDGs.


Mr. M. Bilal Chouhan
Director (A&E)
COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad
Tel: (051) 9214515-7

Ms. Rida Bokhari
Sr. Programme Officer
COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad
Tel: (051) 9214515-7 Ext. 216

11th National Training Workshop on Repair and Maintenance of Scientific Instruments/ Equipment in Universities, Research Institutions, and Small Scale Industries, Gebze, Turkey
Dec 17 – Dec 21 all-day

[ Flyer ]


Scientific Research and Development activities are the most effective and sustainable tools in achieving long term national economic growth for the developing countries. A large proportion of this research is customarily conducted in the educational and industrial organizations, both in public and private sectors. The pace of research largely depends on the skills of the scientists and technicians, and the availability of well-maintained scientific instruments. In developing countries, lack of planning, in purchase and management of inventories and severe shortage of technical expertise related to repair and maintenance of the same greatly hampers smooth progress of research programmes. In this context, the teaching and research institutions suffer more from delayed research output and the industrial units face production losses.

Unfortunately, the concerned management in most of the developing countries, including Islamic Countries, do not pay enough attention to establish maintenance facilities, resulting in discarding a large number of very expensive instruments and equipment. These losses can be averted by spending a fraction of money on the effective and preventive repair and maintenance processes as compared to the costs incurred due to time losses and procurement of the new instruments and by providing relevant training to the operators, concerned engineers and technicians of such instruments, equipment, etc. There is a great need to develop an indigenous capacity to repair and maintain the scientific equipment in the developing countries, since inviting foreign experts for this purpose is time-consuming and economically unviable. Manpower adept in repairing and maintaining scientific equipments of all sorts used in the teaching and research institutions and industries can ensure uninterrupted research work, and thus lead to an overall socioeconomic development of a country.

To enable Islamic countries to achieve technological self – reliance in setting up of repair and maintenance facilities and to reduce technological dependence on foreign experts, national training workshop is being organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); in cooperation with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and TUBITAK, Republic of Turkey. The national workshop entitled “Repair and Maintenance of Scientific Instruments/ Equipment in Universities, Research Institutions and Small Scale Industries” will take place in Republic of Turkey, from December 17-21, 2018. The Workshop is intended to highlight the issues/problems related to the maintenance of scientific engineering equipments used in universities, research institutions and small scale industries. Two experts from Pakistan would provide hands-on training to the participants of the workshop for upgrading their skills and enhancing their capacities in repairing, maintaining and troubleshooting important scientific engineering equipments in their organizations. The workshop encompassing interactive lectures and practical training is a part of the COMSATS-ISESCO series, under which similar events were held in Kazakhstan (2017), Nigeria (2016), Ghana (2013 & 2015), Oman (2015), Iran (2014), Sudan (2013, 2005 & 2004),Tunisia (2012), Egypt (2011), Senegal (2010) and Syria (2005). These workshops have benefited over 420 scientists, engineers and technicians by building their expertise and capacity to indigenously repair and maintain scientific instruments used in the labs of R&D institutions as well as small-scale industries in their respective countries.


The workshop has the following objectives:

  • To demonstrate the process of repairing the defective instruments by the experts;
  • To provide hands-on training to the participants for improving their skills for independently maintaining and repairing the scientific instruments;
  • To update the participants’ knowledge on the latest techniques involved in the operation of scientific instruments;
  • To acquaint the participants with the functioning of scientific instruments through need-based training, as well as documentation of the repair and maintenance activities;
  • To update the trainees’ knowledge on changing and new technologies in scientific equipments;
  • To facilitate information-exchange among scientists, researchers, technicians, service engineers, and industrialists for enhancing the existing scientific capacity.


The working language for the Workshop will be English.


Professional technicians, scientists, researchers and service engineers from academic and research institutions, hospitals and industries of Republic of Turkey are encouraged to register for the national workshop.


Mme EL ALAMI Wafaa
Supervisor of ISESCO Centre for Promotion of
Scientific Research
Avenue des F.A.R. – Hay Ryad
B.P. 2275 – C.P.10104
Rabat – Kingdom of Morocco
Tel : +212 (0) 537 56 60 52/53
Fax: +212 (0) 537 56 60 12/13

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

Mr. Nisar Ahmad
Deputy Director (Systems)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2 Islamabad – Pakistan.
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-17 Fax: (+ 92-51) 9216539

Dr. A. Ömer ALTAN
Head of Department
International Relations Dept.
TÜBITAK Ulusal Metroloji Enstitüsü
Baris Mah., Dr. Zeki Acar Cad. No.1
41470 Gebze Kocaeli
Ph +90 262 679 5000 x 2901; Fax +90 262 679 5001

8th COMSATS‐ISESCO-INIT International Workshop on “Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards”, State of Qatar
Dec 23 – Dec 27 all-day

[ Flyer in PDF format ]


Information Technology is now considered a necessity for the general public and organizations in various sectors. However, it presents various risks in the form of cyber-attacks and has, therefore, evoked many privacy and security concerns. The frequency of cyber-attacks is considerably increasing every year, and the nature of security risks is constantly evolving. Therefore, effective surveillance networks are needed to ensure that the information and networks are protected from attacks, damage and unauthorized access, through the use of appropriate technologies, processes and practices.

In view of the above, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) took the initiative of spreading awareness on this important field in the developing countries, particularly in their Member States, by means of organizing a series of training workshops. The earlier events of this series were held in Syria (2011), Jordan (2012), Tunisia (2013), Tanzania (2014), Turkey (2015), Morocco (2016) and Kazakhstan (2017).


The eighth five-day International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ is being jointly organized by ISESCO; COMSATS; INIT, on 23-27 December 2018, in Qatar.


The workshop aims to provide a forum to the young scientists/professionals from the developing countries to learn about the latest advancements in the field of Internet security; promote the use of state-of-the-art technologies for protection of network and network-accessible resources from different types of malicious attacks; and identify effective Internet/information security solutions for general public, governmental organizations and commercial ventures through rigorous risk-analyses and security management approaches.


The workshop includes technical presentations, tutorials and hands-on training sessions by a group of renowned subject experts. It will cover major aspects of Internet/information security, ranging from theoretical understanding of cryptographic algorithms to practical subtleties of the network systems, and will also address the related managerial and technical issues. Moreover, a handful of network security tools will be demonstrated to provide opportunities to the participants to update their knowledge-base and interact with experts for further collaborative undertakings.


Following are the key topics of the workshop:

  • Information Security Risk Assessment/Management
  • Network Security: Modern Attacks, Evasion Techniques and Defenses
  • Malicious Code Analysis and Detection
  • Measuring Security
  • Ethical Issues of ICT Security
  • Organizational Security Standards, Policies and Guidelines
  • Cryptographic Techniques for Network Security
  • Web Security
  • Social Network Security
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • Digital Forensics Procedures and Tools


Young researchers, practitioners, academicians, executives, system administrators, system programmers, and students working in the field of Internet/information security and cryptography are invited to participate in the workshop.


The workshop is expected to enable the participants to:

  • Understand Organizational Security Structure and their particular security requirements;
  • Analyzing and mitigating the Information security risks;
  • Understand network protocols, models, topologies and related security threats;
  • Understand major modern-day cryptographic algorithms and protocols;
  • Understand how to send secure emails;
  • Use Full Disk Encryption (FDE) tools, including TrueCrypt;
  • Understand the anti-virus, anti-spyware tools and firewalls;
  • Understand the working of major web-security applications;
  • Understand the working of contemporary biometrics systems;
  • Understand organizational security measures, risk assessment tools and techniques and implement appropriate policies and procedures for a given organization;
  • Understand different aspects of cyber security; and
  • Understand and use various types of ethical hacking tools to secure the networks, including: network sniffing, spoofing and poisoning; port scanning and vulnerability analysis; offline and online password attacks; buffer overflow; and root-kits and trojans.


Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants from Member States of COMSATS, ISESCO and INIT.


Dr. Muhammad Nabeel Anwar
Director (Science and Technology)
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
Avenue des F.A.R, P.O. Box 2275, PC Code 10104
Hay Ryad-Rabat, Morocco.
Tel: +212-537-566052/53; Fax: +212-537-566012/13

Dr. Aicha Bammoun
Science Directorate
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
Avenue des F.A.R, P.O. Box 2275, PC Code 10104,
Hay Ryad-Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.
Tel: +212- 5-37566052-53; Fax: +212- 5-37566012-13

Mr. Tahir Naeem
Executive Director
Inter Islamic Network on InformationTechnology (INIT)
COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)
Park Road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-51-90495169; Fax: +92-51-9247006

Mr. M. Atiq ur Rehman
Sr. Program Officer
Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT)
COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)
Park Road, Chak Shehzad, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-51-90495024; Fax: +92-51-9247006

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

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