The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) on 12th March 2018 at a local hotel, in Islamabad. The Executive Director of COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, and the Secretary General of PIDF, Mr. Francois Martel, signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations.
The MoU aims to promote Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It paves way for collaboration between the two parties on the lines of joint research, strengthening of the Centres of Excellence, and to support member countries through effective means of sustainable development.
The MoU was signed among a gathering of diplomats of COMSATS’ member countries, Vice Chancellors of local Science and Technology Universities, representatives of various government officials and representatives of international organizations actively working in Pakistan.
At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen, Advisor at COMSATS Secrretariat, highlighted the importance of the cooperation between the Commission and PIDF as a key means of exploring possible avenues of collaboration, with a particular focus on Innovation. She emphasized on the importance of community level development to achieve the sustainable development goals in member countries.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Australia, Her Excellency, Ambassador Naela Chohan also graced the ceremony with her presence. She held a strong association with the Forum since inception and welcomed the development of the cooperation between COMSATS and PIDF as a positive step to explore possible areas for collaboration. She also thanked the Executive Director of COMSATS, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, for his tremendous support and encouragement in the development of the linkage between the two organizations.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Mr. Francois Martel, expressed that the cooperation between COMSATS and PIDF is a key step for South-South Cooperation. He further added that this cooperation is a clear message of friendship and hospitality between COMSATS, the Government of Pakistan and PIDF. Mr. Martel highlighted this cooperation as a significant addition of science and technology, which would strengthen PIDF’s current focus on innovation.
The MoU is expected to be followed by specific action plans aimed at facilitating socio-economic development of the countries of the South.