ISLAMABAD, 30th September, 2022 (WAM) -- Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, has taken part in the 31st Executive Committee Meeting of COMSTECH, the Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The core mandate of COMSTECH is to strengthen cooperation among OIC Member States in science and technology, and in particular to formulate programs and initiatives to increase capabilities in these fields across the Muslim world.
The ministerial-level meeting, a hybrid event chaired by Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan and the Chairman of COMSTECH, convened to review the progress made over the last 12 months and set the priorities for the year ahead. It covered the disbursement of grants to research projects of which almost 50 percent were given to women in developing countries, as well as scholarship programmes, specialist COMSTECH research awards, participation in international exhibitions, and the importance of developing virtual education tools to develop science and technology skills in COMSTECH countries.
Al Amiri addressed the committee to reassert the importance of science and technology as a driver of development, saying that COMSTECH members must use the tools they currently have to continue to push forward the agenda of science and technology.
She also restated the aims of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which was adopted during the 2nd OIC Summit on Science and Technology under the theme of Science, Technology and Innovation: Opening New Horizons, that sought to ensure that science and technology is a vital pillar of every member state's national priorities due to its increasingly prominent role as a driver of economic development.
"Innovation and technology cannot thrive without a suitable ecosystem that supports science, research and development. Governments in the Islamic world and beyond must invest in cultivating a culture of innovation and building the frameworks that allow technology to flourish. But equally important is for the public sector to engage with top private sector partners and academic institutions. This approach ensures our best talents are galvanised, our rich knowledge and experiences are shared, and our diverse resources are pooled. By adopting this three-way model, countries can boost agility, enhance economic resilience, and ultimately strengthen supply chains and food security," Al Amiri explained.
In addition to Al Amiri, the 31st Executive Committee Meeting of COMSTECH was attended by ministers from People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kazakhstan, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, State of Palestine, State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
COMSTECH is a Ministerial Standing Committee of 57 OIC member states comprising of ministers in charge of Science and Technology. The COMSTECH holds its General Assembly meeting once every two years in Islamabad and the Executive Committee meeting once every year.