| The South has been long struggling with a number of issues and challenges to its sustainable socio-economic growth, including poverty, illiteracy, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, etc. These challenges are complicated and diverse, some have socio-political dynamics, while others are rooted in historical regional conflicts. Regardless of their background, there are no conflicting views on the fact that these problems cannot resolve without making conscious efforts in education, science, technology, indigenous research and innovation.
Visionaries like Prof. Abdus Salam recognized the fact that S&T has become a determining factor of the present and in particular future of mankind. He also realized that for majority of countries of the South, the situation is even worse since there is too little interest in S&T sector, which is paid only lip service. Such an attitude, unfortunately, dominates in the South in spite of the fact that S&T is a major factor for its liberation from poverty and backwardness.
Keeping in view of the above, Prof. Salam wrote letters to the leaders of developing countries to establish the commission (COMSATS) for harnessing the highest level political will and policy foresight to pursue science-led sustainable development in the South.
COMSATS was created by the developing countries to overcome their common challenges by sharing their strengths. However, there is no denying the fact that the North-South collaboration is essential in achieving the desired level of sustainable socio-economic development in the South. Therefore, like-minded leaders and institutions from the South and the North can bring together experience, intellectual resources and scientific expertise to bridge the growing economic gap.
Realizing the importance of its role in this serious pursuit, COMSATS resolves to utilize all its strengths for the betterment of its Member States though its Network of International Centres of Excellence (C.O.E) to promote and facilitate science-led South-South Cooperation. COMSATS is also making partnerships with international, regional, and inter-government organizations and institutions in the South and the North. Expansion of COMSATS’ membership will always remain desirable as the numerical strength is highly relevant for developing countries for pooling their resources to maximize the dividends of cooperation. I am sure that all nations and organizations interested in collaborating with COMSATS, would find it worthy of their trust.
(Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi)