The Ambassador of Argentina to Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Ivan Ivanissevich visited COMSATS Secretariat on 24th November 2017 to hold a meeting with Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS. The agenda of the meeting was to convince the Argentinian Ambassador to join COMSATS as member state based on the mandate of COMSATS i.e. enhance the membership and increase triangular South-North-South Cooperation. Senior officials from COMSATS Secretariat also attended the meeting.
Welcoming the Ambassador, Dr. Zaidi informed him about the comparatively lower presence of COMSATS in Latin America that can be enhanced with Argentina’s accession to COMSATS as a member state. He noted that there are R&D institutes in Colombia, Jamaica, and Brazil that are already a part of the Network of International Centers of Excellence of COMSATS.
Convincing the Ambassador to become the member, Dr. Zaidi gave an introductory presentation about the organizational structure, statutory bodies, flagship projects, and International Thematic Research Groups, as well as COMSATS international programmes. He mentioned that, established in 1994, COMSATS is now an organization of 26 member states, and has an International Network of 21 Centers of Excellence affiliated with it. He also informed that the Government of Pakistan permanently hosts COMSATS Secretariat as agreed in the Foundation Agreement, and the costs of the Secretariat are met by the Government of Pakistan. Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan, he noted, is the national focal point of COMSATS in the country.
Delineating the organization’s undertakings in pursuit of its mission, Dr. Zaidi informed that the organization aims to work for the development of countries in the South by sensitizing them of the importance of Science and Technology in the development agenda of the member states. He further noted that COMSATS’ flagship projects in Member States, pertaining to Health, Higher Education in IT and Internet Services, have been a huge success. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology is one of them and was presented as one of the top most institutions in Pakistan. COMSATS Internet Services, he added, is the pioneer internet services provider in Pakistan. The Tele-health project of COMSATS, Dr. Zaidi informed, caters to the healthcare needs of people in far flung areas of Pakistan. Dr. Zaidi discussed that this project provides tele-consultations in cardiology, radiology, dermatology, and urology.
The Ambassador appreciated the information shared in the presentation. During a short discussion session after the presentation, he opined that Argentina, having vast agricultural land, could employ such technologies in agriculture. The Ambassador mentioned that new technologies are getting cheaper and more sophisticated with every single passing day and COMSATS’ projects are a due utilization of that.
Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor Programmes COMSATS, Mr. Tajammul Hussain, mentioned that some of the International Centers of Excellence of COMSATS are applying these technologies for enhancing agriculture in their countries, Embrapa Agrobiologia, Brazil, was mentioned as an example. These Centers, he added, could provide their services for further improvement of agriculture in Argentina.
Dr. Zaidi handed over a request letter to the Ambassador for accession of Argentina to COMSATS. The Ambassador pledged to take up the matter of Argentina’s accession to COMSATS, with the Ministries of Finance, and Science and Technology for due consideration and political support.
The meeting was concluded with a cordial note of continued cooperation in future. Also, the Ambassador was presented COMSATS’ shield by Dr. Zaidi.