“Challenges to Promote Science & Technology for
Socio-Economic Development in OIC Countries.”
The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) is non-political, non-profit-making, independent, autonomous and self-governing institution that was established by the COMSTECH Under the high patronage of His Excellency the President of Pakistan, and H.R.H Prince El-Hassan bin Talal of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is considered a ‘Brain Trust’ comprised of the leading scientists and the most renowned thinkers of the OIC region that are designated as elected Fellows of the IAS. The Fellows regularly gather in one of the member states of the OIC and brainstorm the current problems and challenges confronting the Islamic World. The gathering suggests solutions for a rapid and coherent socio-economic development by means of the modern science and technology.
IAS convened its annual conference this year in Karachi, Pakistan. It was Twenty-fourth conference of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences’ that was devoted to the topic “Challenges to Promote Science & Technology for Socio-Economic Development in OIC Countries”. Held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) (H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research), University of Karachi, during 7-8 March 2023. It was sponsored jointly by the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), ICCBS, and the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST), Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The partner institutions that played an organizational and executive role included the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), Dr. Panjwani Memorial Trust, the Husein Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Foundation and the Government of Sindh.
Around 150 local and international participants attended the conference from 20 countries. Among the participants were Fellows of the IAS and local scientists from various universities and institutions. The Twenty-fourth Conference adopted the following declaration at the end of the conference:
The 24th Islamic World Academy of Sciences Conference
“Challenges to Promote Science & Technology for Socio-Economic Development in OIC Countries.”
Adopted at Karachi, Pakistan
On Wednesday, 7-8 March, 2023
The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), the Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the OIC (COMSTECH), and the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST) extend their appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency the President of Pakistan for his high patronage of the conference and to His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, the Founding patron of IAS.
- Whereas, seeking knowledge is upheld in Islam.
- Whereas, knowledge is derived from research observation and development on our planet sphere, geosphere, biosphere and ecosphere and cybersphere.
- Whereas, the delivery of R&D in science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem is used for promotion of socio-economic development.
- Whereas, OIC member states recognized education, science and technology as a vehicle for socio–economic transformation in 2020, reconfirmed in 2021 OIC summit conference.
- Whereas, OIC countries and humanity in general are facing global, natural and man-made disasters; i. e., earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, droughts, climate change, pollution of (drinking water, oceans, land and biosphere) resulting in loss of biodiversity, disrupting food chain supply, energy deficiency, poor health and hence increase in poverty.
We the Fellows of the IAS and participants in the IAS 24th conference entitled “Challenges to Promote Science & Technology for Socio-Economic Development in OIC Countries.” Held in Karachi on 7-8 March 2023 in partnership with ICCBS;
- Call on OIC member states for the inclusion of enquiry-based education to enhance creativity, curiosity and problem solving for building-capacity in STI and enriching human resources.
- Call on OIC member states to formulate and implement National Innovation Policies in order to promote entrepreneurship targeted at manufacture and export of high technology goods.
- Call on OIC member states to identify centers of excellence for the IAS network STIs leading to regional R&D delivery or commons scientific application, innovation and leading to socio-economic development and digital transformation.
- Bridge the academia and industry for joint R&D leading to socio-economic development.
- Create social and technology parks and incubators to commercialize the delivery of research and innovations into start-up SMEs and enhance diversification of new materials and quality control.
- Create a consortium for a sustainable triangle of energy-water-food security linked to IAS platform to network reputable research centers in OIC countries for self-reliance and meeting the SDGs, and call on COMSTECH to increase their mobility grants to scientists from LDCs to centers of excellence for training and research in combating poverty and hunger.
- Strengthen world class research institutions, such as the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, at Karachi University, and use them for human resource development in frontier fields of science and technology in the OIC region.
- Align cooperation and collaboration with private sector on achieving a sustainable triangle of food, water and energy security, for future generations.
- Promote cooperation and collaboration of the private sectors for health security of vaccines and drugs to embark across borders, a joint enterprise of manufacturing vaccines and needed drugs for emerging pandemics in the OIC member states.
- Academia and research centers of OIC member states should encourage interdisciplinary research to deal with “common” problems of the Islamic world, including fields of humanity and social sciences such as climate change, the triangle for sustainability, population, poverty, Medicare etc.
- Urge the OIC member states to invest at least 1% of their GDP in research in science, technology and innovation (STI) for socio-economic development.
- Encourage the OIC member states to provide sustained support to the OIC S&T institutions, such as COMSTECH and IAS so that they can fulfil their assigned mandate.
- Encourage the OIC member states to venture into getting benefits of game changing technologies like nanotechnology. Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies, including radionuclide medical technology leading to the 4th Industrial Revolution.