Minister for S&T Rana Tanveer Hussain Lauds Agreement Reached Between COMSATS and UNESCAP Islamabad
22 December 2017
Rana Tanveer Hussain, the Minister for Science of Technology, Government of Pakistan, has felicitated COMSATS and UNESCAP on signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to promote science, technology and innovation (STI) as key means of implementation to meet the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MoU was signed between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) on December 20, 2017. The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, and the Executive Secretary UNESCAP, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, signed the agreement on behalf of their Commissions among a gathering of foreign diplomats and representatives of various government officials of Pakistan. The agreement transpired as a result of contacts established with UNESCO in October this year and a meeting held earlier during the day.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Islamabad at a diplomatic dinner, His Excellency Mr. Hussain hoped that the two Commissions would complement one another’s work in the fields of climate change, sustainable development, e-health, and ICTs. He appreciated the offer of ESCAP to help COMSATS establish a Climate Change Research Institute in one of its member states with the involvement of UNFCCC. The Federal Secretary MoST, Ms. Yasmeen Masood, also graced the ceremony with her presence.
At the signing ceremony, Dr. Zaidi said, ‘Avenues of collaboration between COMSATS and UNESCAP exist in different fields including information technology, biotechnology, fuel cells, and nanotechnology.’ He also mentioned that support and cooperation from organizations like UNESCAP can help COMSATS achieve its goal of sustainable development of its member countries. He duly acknowledged the support from COMSATS’ Member States, especially Pakistan for the organization’s functions. Sharing her views, Dr. Shamshad stated that ‘STI knowledge sharing and collaboration will be critical to ensure that no country is left behind in the frontier technological revolution. This partnership with COMSATS pools together our collective STI resources and expertise to support our respective Member States to chart this future together.’
The MoU will see both parties collaborate on joint research, events, capacity building, and strengthening the COMSATS STI Network of Centres of Excellence; providing comprehensive thought leadership, cooperation platforms and technical and advisory services, to support member countries’ efforts to exploit the potential of STI for sustainable development.