The 23rd Meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), was virtually held on 14th July 2020 due to present-day travel restrictions globally. The meeting had participation of 26 high profile scientists and representatives of 19 COMSATS Centers of Excellence from Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Egypt, The Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, and Turkey. Besides these Council members, 24 officials of COMSATS also attended the meeting from its Headquarters based in Islamabad.
During the meeting, the Council deliberated upon the ongoing programmes, including COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability, postgraduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships at various Centers of Excellence, capacity building activities, Telehealth programme, activities of International Thematic Research Groups, programmes for achieving SDGs, and publications. Noting with great concern the devastating global impacts of COVID-19, which has affected almost all of the COMSATS’ Member States, the Council members deliberated upon collaborating with one another and pool their expertise, human and technological resources in order to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. They also considered focusing their collective efforts on those fields that would be relevant in addressing the socio-economic needs and challenges of the Member States in post-COVID19 scenario.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the Council appreciated the efforts made by the Executive Director COMSATS Dr. S.M Junaid Zaidi and his team for, inter alia, strengthening of COMSATS Network of International S&T Centers of Excellence with the addition of new members; increased interaction, collaboration, and exchange of human and technological resources among the Centers of Excellence.
It was decided that the implementation status of the decisions of this year’s meeting would be reviewed during the next (24th) meeting of the Coordinating Council to be held in Karachi during March 2021.
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