OIC Institutions for Science and Technology approve multiple joint projects for member states


On the sidelines of the recently concluded OIC Council of Foreign Minsters (CFM) meeting, the Steering Committee for implementation of the OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda 2026 held a day-long meeting at the COMSTECH Secretariat in Islamabad on 24th March 2022. The purpose of the meeting was to review the progress and to plan various science and technology related initiatives for the member states.

The meeting organized and chaired by COMSTECH was attended by all the leading institutions and specialized organizations of the OIC that focus on different areas of science, technology, innovation, and their applications to society.

Besides COMSTECH, which is the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and is hosted by Pakistan, the heads and representatives of twelve OIC organizations participated physically, while two other organizations participated online.

The Committee approved an extended Plan of Action based on joint initiatives involving various member organizations and partners in areas such as higher education and research, health, medicine, vaccine development, food security and water resources, emerging technologies, promoting innovation, and the organization of science competitions, etc. Of special consideration for the meeting was the decision to focus strongly on the lessor developed African countries and to create programmes for the development of their manpower and useful technologies. The meeting strongly endorsed the need not only to support projects that channelize science and technology for development, but also to create programmes that inculcate the spirit of inquiry and creativity in our youth.

The Coordinator General of COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary welcomed the participants and reviewed the working of the Committee for the past few years and the plans for the future. He also presented to the Committee the prototypes of the ongoing COMSTECH initiative on preparing STI reports for each of the OIC member states. The representative from SESRIC also presented a detailed statistical report on the general development of STI in member states based on the analysis of various representative parameters.

It was decided to constitute expert committees to review the progress in STI made by member states in the past few years and to prepare guidelines for future actions.

The meeting was also addressed by Assistant Secretary General (S&T) of the OIC, Ambassador Askar Mussinov, who appraised the members of the needs for African member states, as well as expectation of the OIC that the Steering Committee will play a leading role in steering the Member States towards meaningful activities to fulfil the goals of the OIC STI Agenda 2026 and the Abu Dhabi Declaration; the outcomes of the 1st and 2nd OIC S&T Summits respectively.

The meeting ended with the resolve to initiate various joint efforts as presented in the approved Action Matrix and also to set in motion the evaluation process of the implementation of science and technology agenda for the past five years based on the COMSTECH and SESRIC reports.