The International Workshop titled ‘Learning about Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges’, being jointly organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS); and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), was inaugurated on the morning of 3rd December 2019, in Gebze, Turkey.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, warmly welcomed the participants and resource persons belonging to COMSATS’ Member States and other developing countries. Dr. Zaidi considered international partnerships, particularly South-South and Triangular Cooperation, pivotal for achieving the SDGs. He particularly stressed the need of collectively taking actions for preserving the environment and biodiversity and to reverse the climate change. He considered the topics covered by the workshop extremely important for sustainable development of the countries of the South, and assured that the recommendations emerging from this activity will be conveyed to the top leadership of the developing countries. He thanked TWAS and TUBITAK for partnering with COMSATS to organize this activity. He appreciated the human and technological resources available at TUBITAK institutions and urged the participants to explore possibilities of collaboration with the same.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Max Paoli, Programme Coordinator, TWAS, stated that COMSATS and TWAS are sister organizations, owing to them being brainchildren of Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, Pakistani Nobel Laureate. Therefore, he expressed pleasure on collaborating with COMSATS and TUBITAK for holding the event. Highlighting the urgent need to come together for the achievement of SDGs, he shed light on importance of responsible and green consumption and production. He informed with pleasure that the carbon footprint of the foreign participants attending the event (fuel consumed for their transportation) has been reversed through carbon-offsetting scheme (planting of appropriate number of trees).
Prof. Dr. Orkun Hasekioglu, TUBITAK, recalled the fruitful collaboration taking place between TUBITAK and COMSATS and its other Centres of Excellence, and hoped that this activity would pave way for enhanced cooperation in the areas related to SDGs. Availing the opportunity, Prof. Hasekioglu overviewed the activities and technical resources of various institutions under TUBITAK.
During the next three days, 35 scientists belonging to Algeria, Botswana, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Italy, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, South Africa, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey and Uganda, will be deliberating upon various issues and topics related to SDGs and planetary boundaries.