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

5th International Workshop on Internet Security inaugurated in Ankara

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The 5th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ was inaugurated by Prof. A. Arif Ergin, President of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Government of Turkey, on 14th September 2015, in Ankara, Turkey. The event is being jointly organized by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT); the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Pakistan; and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Turkey, from September 14-18, 2015.

Prof. Ergin, in his inaugural address, welcomed and thanked the foreign experts and participants for ensuring their participation in this important event. He stated that the survival and socio-economic development of nations depend greatly upon scientific knowledge and command over technology. Noting that the world is moving from traditional computing to cloud computing, Prof. Ergin stated that cyber security has become extremely difficult to ensure considering that the information and data is distributed over thousands of network nodes all over the world. He noted that the developing countries, particularly Islamic countries, generally lack the capability to indigenously produce microelectronic hardware and software for various applications including cyber security in telecommunication industry, and rely heavily on the countries of the West to fulfill their needs in this regard. He called for enhanced collaboration among the relevant organizations of the developing countries, in general, and OIC countries, in particular, in order to build their capacities to develop their own hardware and network protocols for improved cyber security practices. He informed that TUBITAK governs 19 research facilities in Turkey, nine of which are working in different fields of ICTs and electronics.

Earlier, in his welcome address, H.E. Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General SESRIC, expressed his pleasure on hosting this important workshop, and welcomed all foreign and local participants of the event. He considered information and internet security an extremely important topic, keeping in view the fact that cybercrimes cause tremendous losses of revenue, confidential information and infrastructure. He stated that cyber security is especially important for the developing countries, as they are in the nascent stages of transition towards becoming knowledge societies, and can suffer irreversible damages at the hands of cyber criminals. He stressed the significance of collaboration among the developing countries in different aspects of cyber security, including legal measures; technical, policy and procedural measures; organizational development; and capacity building. He informed that SESRIC is actively engaged in building scientific capacity of OIC member countries since 2009, which includes organizing a number of capacity-building events each year, as well as conducting scientific studies. In this regard, he informed that SESRIC has organized 10 capacity-building events in the field of ICTs during the recent years, and is also hosting the e-government web-portal of Turkey.

Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, in his message read out on the occasion by Mr. Tajammul Hussain, Advisor (Programmes) COMSATS, extended gratitude to ISESCO, INIT, CIIT, and SESRIC for joining hands with COMSATS in order to organize the workshop. He stated that with the ever-increasing use of computers, laptops and smart phones, connected to the Internet, by general public for performing daily life activities, came fraudulent activities that range from system hacking to identity theft and cyber stalking. Internet security has, therefore, become exceedingly important for individuals, organizations, and businesses in order to ensure that their identities, documents and passwords are not compromised. Dr. Qureshi stated that the afore-stated threats can only be encountered through collective action by the governments, IT experts and organizations of the world. He informed that COMSATS is committed to developing and strengthening linkages among the countries of the South for exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge. He acknowledged the consistent support of ISESCO and INIT towards COMSATS’ programmes and activities in the common Member States, and thanked SESRIC for hosting this important event. He also desired and looked forward to having further collaboration with SESRIC on long-term basis, similar to COMSATS’ collaboration with ISESCO, UNESCO and INIT.

Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, President INIT and Rector CIIT, in his message read out on the occasion by Mr. Muhammad Atiq-ur-Rehman, Senior Program Officer, INIT, stated that the information technology has advanced at an unprecedented pace ever since the advent of modern computing. He stated that this progress, however, has come at the cost losses due to cybercrimes. He called for special protocols to be put in place in order to ensure cyber security in governmental and business activities. Dr. Zaidi stated that INIT is mindful of all necessities for achieving safe data exchange, without breaching the boundaries of relevant legislation. It was informed that INIT has devised certain programmes and initiated a number of activities in different fields of information technology. He was confident that the knowledge accorded during the workshop will facilitate the promotion and strengthening of initiatives related to Internet security and data protection.

Dr. Aicha Bammoun, Acting Director (Sciences), Science Directorate, ISESCO, conveyed the greetings of the Director General ISESCO. She stated that information and internet security is legal and ethical requirement of businesses and organizations, and stressed the significance of securing the computing devices against malicious cyber-attacks that often result in critical confidential information and system-control breaches. She informed that ISESCO is implementing various activities that aim to strengthen and promote knowledge and skills that are necessary to induce progress in the scientific and technological research sectors to keep pace with the requirements of the new age. ISESCO facilitates transition towards knowledge-based economies through developing intellectual potential of societies and providing capable human resources. She hoped that the workshop will suitably highlight the significance of cyber security, and will impart necessary skills and knowledge to the IT professionals enabling them to reduce the number of cyber crimes effecting their respective organizations and countries.

The inaugural ceremony was also attended by the representatives of diplomatic missions of various OIC and COMSATS Member States in Ankara, including Tunisia, Gambia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Jordan, Brunei Darussalam, Guinea, Morocco, Uganda, Indonesia, Chad, Sudan and Pakistan, as well as a number of relevant scientists and researchers belonging to universities, R&D organizations and government departments of Turkey.

This five-day workshop is expected to benefit about 40 young researchers, practitioners, academicians, system administrators and programmers, from Brunei Darussalam, Jordan, Nigeria, Maldives, Morocco, Tanzania, Mauritania, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey, working in the field of Internet/information security and cryptography.

Upcoming Events

Dec
3
Tue
2019
International Workshop on Learning about Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges, Gebze, Turkey.
Dec 3 – Dec 5 all-day

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1. Background and rationale
Since the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the achievement of their targets has become a high priority. However, full awareness about the SDGs and the associated Global Challenges at the level of young scientists and researchers is often inadequate. Their role in contributing towards fostering scientific knowledge, technology and innovation is crucial for finding solutions to the sustainability issues. A workshop is being organized aimed at early-career researchers to deepen their understanding of the SDGs.

2. Introduction
In order to raise awareness on SDGs and the associated challenges faced by humanity globally, and to build capacity of young scientists and researchers in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other countries lagging in science and technology, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), in collaboration with the TWAS Regional Partner for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific, and COMSATS’ Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), are organizing an international workshop titled ‘Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges’. The workshop will be hosted by TUBITAK, at Gebze, Turkey, on 3 – 5 December 2019.

This activity will be within the pursuits of COMSATS and TWAS. COMSATS Centres of Excellence are reservoirs of scientific research capabilities and expertise in diverse fields. Their contribution in enhancing the capacity of COMSATS’ member countries especially the LDCs and countries on the verge of developing ST for SDGs is a strong manifestation of south-south cooperation and commitment to sustainability. The offer of TUBITAK, the COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Turkey, to host the workshop is deeply appreciated.

3. Focus and Possible Topics
If SDGs are to bring about transformative changes in the socio-economic and socio-technical systems, it is imperative to promote active links and dialogue among different actors, disciplines and knowledge holders. This would enable better understanding of the challenges confronted by humanity and possible progress toward their solutions. It is important for all stakeholders to imagine SDGs as a whole, interlinked and interactive process and systems. Hence the overarching aim of the workshop is to provide an overview and training on the concept of sustainable development; the rationale of SDGs; importance of targets set as benchmarks for monitoring the progress of the implementation processes; and on the planetary boundaries. This is expected to provide a useful backdrop to more focused deliberations on three crucial topics: climate, energy and biodiversity. Though these are covered under most of the Goals, the specific ones could be identified as: Goal 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

4. Structure of Workshop
The structure of the workshop is based on presentations by international experts in the fields identified, which will be followed by interactive sessions. The idea is to engage with the participants and involve them in brainstorming on key issues. The handouts and possible reading material will be provided. The participants will be expected to suggest their views on the solutions specific to their countries/regions.

5. Targeted Individuals
The focus of the workshop is on the LDCs and S&T Lagging countries, especially those that are members of TWAS and COMSATS. Young affiliates & scientists holding PhD (graduated at least 3 years ago), belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries, and the host country are encouraged to participate in the event.

6. Financial Support
Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries (https://twas.org/66-countries). The local hospitality will be provided to the foreign participants by TUBITAK, Turkey.

7. Application Procedure
The candidates are required to submit their CVs, duly filled-in application forms (enclosed), expression of interest (up to 500 words), passport copy, and nomination/recommendation letters at the following email addresses: regionaloffices@twas.org; farhan@comsats.org on or before 18th September 2019.

8. For further information, please contact:

TWAS
Dr. Max Paoli
Programme Coordinator, TWAS, Trieste, Italy
Tel: +39 040 2240-327
Fax: +39 040 224559
E-mail: mpaoli@twas.org

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

TUBITAK
Dr. Orkun Hasekioglu
TUBITAK,
Ankara, Turkey
Email: orkun.hasekioglu@tubitak.gov.tr

Mar
2
Mon
2020
The 23rd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, ICCBS, Karachi, Pakistan
Mar 2 – Mar 4 all-day

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