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

COMSATS Represented at World Science Forum

COMSATS Represented at World Science Forum

The sixth edition of the World Science Forum was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 25-27 November 2013, where more than 400 scientists, educationists, policy-makers, leaders of research bodies, international organizations, industries and civil society representatives from over 100 countries were present. The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I. E. Qureshi, along with the Dean, Research, Innovation and Commercialization, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Dr. Raheel Qamar, participated in the Forum on invitation from Brazilian and Hungarian Academies of Sciences, which were joint organizers of this biennial event. The establishment of the Forum by Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2003 with the support of the Government of Hungary, the United Nations, Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Council for Science (ICSU), was aimed at facilitating much needed dialogue between scientific community and society. The forum has been held in Budapest since its inception, however, this year the format was changed and Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the venue of the meeting. It will be held again in Budapest in 2015, followed by Amman, Jordan, in 2017.

The deliberations of the event spread over three days and consisted of a wide spectrum of topics and discussions related to the social, economic and environmental issues being faced by all societies across the globe, and the scientific and technical solutions to address these issues. The presentations made on the occasion by eminent scholars covered topics such as:

  • Inequalities as Barriers for Global Sustainability;
  • Science Policy and Governance;
  • Amazonia, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development;
  • The Medical Challenge of Old Age;
  • Science Diplomacy;
  • Sustainable Planted Forests;
  • Ocean Sciences and Knowledge for Societal Benefit;
  • The Role of Higher Education in Building a Critical Mass for Global Sustainability;
  • Science for Natural Resources;
  • Science and Engineering Education;
  • The Fundamental Roles of Science in Innovation;
  • Water Cooperation and Security;
  • Science and Technology in the Service of Disaster Risk Reduction;
  • Bioenergy; and
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Interdisciplinary and Trans disciplinary Science for Sustainability: Future Earth.

Intensive debate by the delegates following each presentation led to a formal declaration with 5 main recommendations:

  1. Harmonization of global and national efforts;
  2. Education to reduce inequalities and promote global and sustainable science and innovation;
  3. Responsible and ethical conduct of research and innovation;
  4. Improved dialogue with governments, society, industry and media on sustainability issues; and
  5. Sustainable mechanisms for the funding of science.

A number of side-line meetings were held by Dr. Qureshi with distinguished delegates from different Member States and non-member states of COMSATS, as well as international organizations like TWAS and UNESCO.

The main counterparts of these meetings and the matters discussedwith them are out-lined below:

Prof. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director TWAS

  • The selection of a Center of Excellence for publishing its ‘Profile’ in continuation of the publication series of TWAS, ‘Excellence in Science’
  • The visit of Executive Director TWAS to Pakistan and his meetings with officials of the Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, with the objective of seeking Pakistan’s support for TWAS’ programmes
  • COMSATS possible role in ‘Science Diplomacy’ initiative of TWAS

Prof. Glaucius Oliva, President, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Brazil

  • Prof. Oliva’s acceptance for the membership of COMSATS’ Technical Advisory Committee

Prof. Carlos A. Nobre, National Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Government of Brazil

  • Brazil’s membership of COMSATS and possible induction of a second Center of Excellence from Brazil (as one of the MOSTI organizations) in COMSATS Network

Prof. Chunli Bai, President of TWAS and President of Chinese Academy of Sciences

  • China’s participation in COMSATS’ scientific activities

Mr. Mourad Ahmia, Executive Secretary of the Group of 77

  • The revival of COSTIS and COSTIS–COMSATS future cooperation

Dr. Adil I. Matloob, Advisor, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Iraq

  • The follow-up of the offer of membership to Iraq

Prof. M.H.A. Hassan, Life-time Member of COMSATS Coordinating Council

  • The merger of the amended ‘International Agreement to Establish COMSATS’ and the amended Charter of the Network of COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence, to frame COMSATS’ statute
  • Appointment of the members of COMSATS’ panel of experts for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Advice to Member States

Dr. Eduardo Campello, former Director General, Embrapa Agrobiologia

  • The briefing of the new Director General Embrapa Agrobiologia, Dr. Ghustavo Xavier, concerning COMSATS’ present activities and future programmes

In addition, goodwill messages were exchanged with a large number of delegates from different countries, representatives of international organizations and academies of sciences.