COMSATS is striving for South-South cooperation, and aiming to establish new science and technology Centres of Excellence in COMSATS member states, as well as working to grow the Network’s prospects to the North for sustainable development. The organization is targeting to achieve at least 50 members in next four years”, stated by Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, while addressing at a forum themed ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) with the support from the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPD) to celebrate the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.
Representatives of foreign mission of Embassy of China, European Union and Palestine along with delegates from UNIDO, UNDP and CIIT Pakistan collectively endorsed the importance of South-South and South-North cooperation for the purpose of resources, technology, as well as knowledge between developing countries of the global south.
Dr. Zaidi encouraged the need for utilizing the North’s experience for advancement the institutions in the South. He said that more and more relationship is sought from the institutions and organizations in the North to enhance the effectiveness of the organization’s efforts for South-South cooperation in S&T for sustainable development.
Zhao Lijian, Deputy Head of Mission, China, expressed his opinion that poverty can be eliminated by accelerating economic development by means of necessary infrastructure development in healthcare, education and transportation sectors.
Lijian noted that China is on the mission to eradicate poverty by 2020 and attributed its development to the efforts made in this regard. Ecological conservation has also been made a priority for improving the lifestyle of people. He further explained its program for poverty reduction through; industrial development, and through re-settlement of the population, which played essential role for poverty eradication.
Walid Abu Ali, Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan, also expressed his country’s commitment to South- South Cooperation. He said despite having number of challenges Palestine promises to work for S&T based economic development in the South. He emphasized that African countries should be preferred for development investment.
Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, stated that Science, Technology and Innovation are powerful tools for achieving sustainable development. Targets of Horizon 2020 of European Union are to enhance education and governance, provide public services, and contribute to peace and development.
“South-South Cooperation is not only promoted through public sector but also private sector and NGO’s”, said by Esam Al Qararah, Country Head, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Bilateral and multilateral cooperation between developing countries is obligatory for competent sharing of knowledge, technology transfer, and designing of innovative programs, he added.
The event had a strong attendance of over 110 from foreign missions in Islamabad, academia, R&D institutions and government representatives of Pakistan, as well as think-tanks and international organizations, and media. The representatives of foreign missions in Islamabad belongs to Iran, Malaysia, Tunisia, Oman, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Tajiskistan, Kyrgystan, Russia.
COMSATS is an intergovernmental organization, established in 1994 with its permanent Secretariat based in Islamabad, Pakistan. The organization comprising 25 Member States, striving to promote South-South cooperation in the fields of Science and Technology through its 21 Centres of Excellence that are most relevant to socio-economic development.