COMSTECH Coordinator General Addresses At UN Science Summit

The event, organized by ISC Intelligence in Science, stands as a pivotal platform for fostering international scientific collaboration during the UN General Assemblies.

COMSTECH Coordinator General Addresses At UN Science Summit

Professor Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, the Coordinator General of COMSTECH (the Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), delivered a keynote address during the inaugural session of the United Nations General Assembly’s Science Summit on Tuesday.

The event, organized by ISC Intelligence in Science, stands as a pivotal platform for fostering international scientific collaboration during the UN General Assemblies.

During his address, Professor Choudhary extended his gratitude to Mr. Declan Kirrane, the Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, for his instrumental role in advancing global scientific cooperation and for hosting the Science Summits during the UN General Assemblies.

The Coordinator General underscored the myriad challenges faced by OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) countries, ranging from food insecurity, poverty, and youth unemployment to female illiteracy and water scarcity.

Additionally, these nations contend with critical environmental concerns, making them particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate stress. Moreover, they grapple with perceptual issues such as Islamophobia and a climate of mistrust.

He emphasized that COMSTECH is primarily focused on supporting the Least Developed Member States. Their endeavors in Africa encompass initiatives like promoting climate-resilient agriculture, the Health Africa program addressing ophthalmology and neurology, establishing laboratories and educational institutions, providing numerous scholarships and fellowships, and engaging in country-specific scientific programs.

The Coordinator General drew attention to the UN Secretary-General’s report from May 2023, which highlighted the obstacles hindering the realization of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, especially for the Global South. He stressed the imperative for transformative changes to steer the world toward sustainability.

To effectively attain the SDGs, he proposed a four-pronged approach. Firstly, addressing disparities in international funding to foster genuine researcher engagement in global collaborations; secondly, advocating for the inclusion of a new SDG, “global research cooperation,” to integrate scientific research into the sustainable development agenda; thirdly, highlighting the criticality of research collaboration and knowledge sharing in driving innovation and maximizing the impact of R&D investments; and fourthly, underscoring the urgency for scientific communities to prepare for a more science-based post-2030 Agenda, rectifying the shortcomings of the SDGs.

Professor Choudhary concluded his address by suggesting the establishment of a Forum to deliberate and identify challenges and mechanisms for fortifying scientific and technological capabilities in the context of SDG implementation.

He extended an offer for OIC-COMSTECH to serve as the secretariat for the global south in this endeavor. Furthermore, he expressed COMSTECH’s willingness to play a central role in mobilizing the science community of the Muslim world to address global challenges through research.

In conclusion, the Coordinator General conveyed his appreciation to Mr. Kirrane for affording him the opportunity to speak at this esteemed science forum. He underscored how this invitation has bridged the gap between the largely disconnected Muslim world and the global science community, highlighting their shared future.

The Coordinator General’s address garnered appreciation and applause from the audience, signifying a momentous stride in global scientific collaboration.