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

Pakistani Universities come together in favour of Sustainable Development Goals at COMSATS Platform

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Event Report

The 2030 UN agenda with its universal dimensions pertaining to economy, society and environment have acquired a prominent place in global cooperation efforts for development. All the stakeholder states and international agencies have a strong interest in achieving the 2030 agenda.

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) aligning its strategies to the SDGs, COMSATS organized the first of its kind event in Islamabad on July 9, 2018. The seminar on ‘Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Universities’ was organized as a first step in this direction in Member States. For Pakistan, COMSATS partnered with the relevant institution in the country, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Vice Chancellors and other senior officials from around a 100 universities from across Pakistan gathered at the event. The purpose of the Seminar was to raise awareness in the academia and research organizations on the promotion, advocacy and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at the Inaugural, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, highlighted the importance of UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development across the globe. Universities are important for cultivating practices for innovation and the implementation on sustainable development goals. He considered COMSATS University and other Centres of Excellence in three continents important tools for COMSATS’ relevant efforts. Chairperson HEC, Dr. Tariq Banuri, while speaking on the inaugural session, highlighted the role of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in serving the poor segments of the world. UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Neil Buhne, also spoke on the occasion and mentioned the importance of brining institutions and politicians on the same forum for relevant policy making process. He highlighted the needs of universities for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.


Prominent names from Pakistan and abroad delivered key note addresses on the occasion. These included Prof. Dr. John Thwaites, Chair of ClimateWorks Australia; Dr Max Paoli, Programme Coordinator, TWAS, Italy; and Dr. Adil Najam, Dean, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, USA.

Dr. John Thwaites highlighted the usefulness of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in fostering university linkages within the framework of North-South cooperation.

Dr. Max Paoli emphasized the need for awareness, knowledge and understanding of sustainability and to develop a more responsible attitude towards the planet through knowledge. He advised the education and research institutions to engage with people, especially with the younger generations, to convey key messages and promote sustainable solutions.

Dr. Adil Najam noted that the challenge of actualizing the potential of SDGs is also a challenge for implementation and innovation. He highlighted universities as an ideal vehicle, as they cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation for implementation of UN 2030 agenda.

The panel comprised renowned experts from Pakistan; Dr. Sania Nishtar, Heartfile, Pakistan; Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms, Pakistan; Prof. Abdul Aziz Irfan Mufti, UET Peshawer, Mr. Shaoib Sultan Khan, Chairperson Rural Support Programmes Network; Dr. Abid Suleri, SDPI; Mr. Ali Tauqeer Shiekh, LEAD, Pakistan; Dr. Khalid Riaz, COMSATS University; Dr. Asma Hyder, Member Planning Commission; Prof. Dr. Javed Ashraf, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; Dr. Umer Saif, UNESCO Chair for ICTD; Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmed Khalid, UET Lahore; Prof. Masoom YasinZai, International Islamic University; and Dr. Orkun HASEKİOĞLU, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)..

The panelists spoke on various aspects of Promotion and Advocacy of SDGs, SDGs Implementation: Perspectives of Education, Research and Development, and Frontier Technologies: Scientific Institutions driving Innovation. Their views helped raised interest of the participants who asked a number of pertinent questions.

The event proceedings were made available through live web-streaming to wide range of audience including COMSATS Ministerial focal points, Centres of Excellence, and stakeholders in different continents.

A graduate from COMSATS Centre of Excellence, COMSATS University, Ms. Sadia Bashir CEO, Pixel Arts Games Academy, shared her case of successful entrepreneurship through innovation. Ms. Bashir’s success secured her a spot in Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30.

The event resulted in a set of recommendations that were presented at the closing session. The recommendations emphasized the need of the research activities which help in promotion of sustainable development agenda, involvement of students in campus operations, bridging the gap between science and policy, and incubation of ideas and conversion of data into learning.

Dr. Arshad Ali closed the event with his closing remarks and vote of thanks.

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