In his speech at ‘15th Meeting Of the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH)’, the President said Science is the best illustration of human endeavours and the Islamic world made significant contributions to this endeavor up till the sixteenth century. However, he noted that despite being endowed with natural resources, Muslims are now far behind the contemporary world.
President also underscored the need for greater contribution and mutual cooperation among OIC Member States saying contribution of OIC Member States to the technological progress is negligible. “Consequently, there has been little increase in the skilled manpower and we have been unable to fully benefit from the fruits of technological advancements made by the developed world” he said while referring to the main cause that “Muslim countries focused less on research and development and ignored science and technology in its priorities”.
The president urged the member states to make every effort to provide our people in the institutional support that they need to explore the limits of their minds and produce highly qualified scientists who are the most valuable asset of any society.
President while appreciating COMSTECH’s 10 years Action Plan said it envisages strengthening of Centers of Excellence in key areas relevant to the development of individual member states.
It is pertinent to mention here that nearing 120 delegates from around the OIC Member States are participating in the session that would continue till tomorrow.
OIC Secretary General, Iyad Amin Madani on the occasion reminded the participants that science is disruptive, and flourishes in an environment of irreverence. “Science and technology certainly offers the toots for making the desired changes as well as managing them” he maintained adding that such endeavor requires a certain social attitude and capability. “Such a culture is generally missing in OIC countries despite recent improvements in education and science” he noted.
President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali highlighted the need for knowledge based economy that is driven by modern scientific tools. “Our member countries will not be able to compete with the economies that have entered the “knowledge” phase if they remain within the boundaries of the agricultural “nature economy”, or even the industrial “machine economy”. However, he expressed his satisfaction that the 10 years Action Plan could deliver for what COMSTECH has been addressing to.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Tanveer Hussain highlighted the prevailing technological challenges like climate change, food security and the widening disparities in access to knowledge. “While on one hand, unprecedented technological progress is opening up new frontiers for humanity, on the other hand the knowledge gap between the developed world and the developing countries is widening” said the Minister. He further urged OIC member countries to pool their resources and potential to create synergies to reduce their dependence on the developed world for their technology needs.
The Minister assured all the support and backup in all the efforts being made through the forum of COMSTECH from Pakistan being chair.
During the two days meeting, different plenary sessions and working groups will ponder the ways and means to be adopted by OIC for the betterment of people of the member states. It would be pertinent to note here that Ministers of 20 OIC States attended the 15th General Assembly of COMSTECH, which is the highest number of participation from OIC States on Ministerial level at this forum. This depicts an overall healthy and positive approach of the Muslim Ummah towards the development of Science & Technology.