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

2nd COMSATS Consultative Committee Meeting, 1st May 2013, Accra, Ghana

2nd Meeting of COMSATS Consultative Committee concluded in Ghana

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The 2nd meeting of COMSATS Consultative Committee was successfully held on 1st May 2013, in Accra-Ghana, under the chairmanship of Mr. Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 16th meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, and was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Ghana, and COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Ghana, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). A joint inaugural ceremony was held earlier in the morning, which was attended by senior officials belonging to the diplomatic community, universities and R&D institutions in Accra, as well as the participants of the two meetings. The Ceremony included, Welcome Speech by Director-General CSIR; Introductory Remarks by Executive Director COMSATS; Address by the Chairperson Consultative Committee; Address by the Chairperson Coordinating Council; and a Message of the honourable Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Republic of Ghana, delivered by the Director-General CSIR.

Apart from the senior officials of COMSATS, the Committee meeting was attended by the representatives of COMSATS’ Focal Points in Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of TWAS and UNESCO, and a member of COMSATS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) as observers.

The meeting deliberated upon a nine-point agenda during its two technical sessions. The important matters discussed during the meeting pertained to the review of the 5-year Strategy of COMSATS, approved by Coordinating Council; strengthening the coordination between Focal Points and Centres of Excellence within Member States for facilitating the execution of programmes and activities of COMSATS; enhancing the role of Focal Points to address the financial issues facing COMSATS; overview of COMSATS’ activities and update on the follow-up of 2nd Commission Meeting of COMSATS; and implementation status of the decisions of the 1st Meeting of COMSATS Consultative Committee. Moreover, the participating delegates presented Country Statements that covered their respective governments’ stance on S&T-led sustainable development and recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of programmes and activities of COMSATS in its Member States.

The appointed rapporteurs compiled the recommendations and decisions made during the meeting, which included: strong advices to ensure regular payments of Annual Membership Contributions by Member States as well as contributions towards the COMSATS’ Endowment Fund; constitution of a Technical Advisory Group, comprising the Focal Points in China, Colombia, Egypt, Iran and Nigeria; nominations of renowned R&D/S&T institutions as potential Centres of Excellence by Member States that are, at present, not represented in the Coordinating Council; as well as endorsement of COMSATS’ Future Strategy.

The meeting also appreciated the organization of the 2nd Commission Meeting of COMSATS at the level of representatives of Heads of State/Government in April 2012, and rotation of the Chairperson of COMSATS. The members of the Consultative Committee hoped that Ghana’s leadership will strengthen the organization, especially in the African region.