COMSATS: South-South Cooperation Partner of the Month

About COMSATS

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) was established in 1994 as a realization of an ambitious plan envisaged by the Nobel Laureate from Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam. The plan was to support and catalyze the socio-economic uplift of the developing countries by promoting and inculcating S&T as an effective means of development. As the name suggests, the foundation of the organization has three major dimensions: Sustainable Development, Science and Technology (S&T) and the South.

The idea of establishing a high-level Commission on Science and Technology as an apex body for countries of the South was based on the view that the increasingly widening gap of scientific know-how between the North and the South is leading to persistent disparities of economic strengths and that sustainable socio-economic development in the South cannot be achieved without building and sustaining indigenous capacities in science and technology. For developing countries to generate and sustain such capacities strengthening South-South and North-South cooperation is essential.

Mission Statement

To help create a world where all nations are at peace with one another and capable of providing a good quality of life to their populations in a sustainable way, using modern scientific and technological resources.

Chairman COMSATS, H.E. the President of Ghana chairing the meeting of Heads of States or their representatives on the sidelines of African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Feb 2019

Organizational Structure to Support South-South Cooperation

It was realized by COMSATS’ pioneers that the decisionmaking process in developing countries is heavily dependent upon political patronage and the cooperation of civil bureaucracies. Thus, a top-down approach was adopted to bring about a significant shift in how countries perceive the role of S&T and what resources are allocated for its development. Consequently, COMSATS is an apex body, comprising Heads of State/Government as its Members, while the highest level functionaries responsible for S&T affairs in member countries, acting as COMSATS’ Focal Points, constitute its Consultative Committee. Currently, there are 27 Member States of COMSATS with the President of Ghana H.E. John Dramani Mahama, the President of Ghana, as the incumbent Chairperson of COMSATS, who assumed this position on 24 July 2012.

Objectives

As derived from the Statutes of the Commission, the mission of COMSATS has been translated into the following broad objectives:

  • To sensitize the countries in the South to the centrality of science and technology in the development process, to the adequate resource allocation for research and development, and to the integration of science and technology in the national and regional development plans;
  • To support the functioning and activities of the Network of International Science and Technology Centres for Sustainable Development in the South, established at the foundation meeting of the Commission;

Head of the State level 2nd General Meeting of COMSATS, 16-17 April, 2012, Islamabad, Pakistan

Participants attending National Training Workshops on Repair and Maintenance of Scientific Engineering Equipment from Universities, Research Institutions, and Small Scale Industries

  • To support other major initiatives designed to promote indigenous capacity in science and technology for science-led sustainable development, and to help mobilise long-term financial support from international donor agencies and from Government/Institutions in the North and the South to supplement the financing of international scientific projects in the South;
  • To provide leadership and support for North-South and South-South cooperative schemes in education, training and research, such as the proposal to set up programmes of scholarships for research at centres of excellence in the South; and
  • To support the relevant programmes and initiatives of major scientific organizations working for the development and promotion of science and technology in the South.

COMSATS and South-South Cooperation

COMSATS serves as an institutional platform for South-South and Triangular technical cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as Education, Information Technology, Environment, Energy, and Health. The organization actively facilitates the exchange of expertise and technology among its Member States. In that direction, it is currently implementing various programmes and projects in collaboration with its Member States as well as some international organizations/agencies. The size and scope of COMSATS’ international cooperation vary from national to regional to international levels. The international cooperation is facilitated through bilateral and multilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), Agreements, and Letters of Intent. Presently, there are over 65 MoU signed with a number of national/international collaborators.

COMSATS Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS)

Heads of scientific institutions level 22nd Annual Coordinating Council Meeting of COMSATS , 16-17 April 2019, Tianjin, China

COMSATS’ major source of scientific and technological strength stems from its Network of 22 International S&T Centres of Excellence for sustainable development in the South. The Network was established with the objective of assisting the countries of the South to build and sustain a critical mass of world-class scientists and technologists and to utilize their expertise for expediting science-led sustainable development. COMSATS’ Member States have been greatly benefiting from the Network through capacity-building activities, such as short and long trainings; seminars, workshops and symposia; postgraduate scholarships; faculty and expert-exchange; technical meetings and other joint scientific programmes linked to socio-economic development. The COMSATS Coordinating Council, comprising the Heads of COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence, meets every year to make rules and regulations governing its own procedures, and approve the programmes and budget of the Network and the Secretariat.

Ongoing Projects

COMSATS UNIVERSITY ISLAMABAD (CUI)

CUI offers 100 scholarships for students from Member States, 50 for the students from OIC member countries, 50 scholarships for ISESCO, 50 for Azerbaijan, & 80 (10 each) scholarships for students from member states. Read more….

Accra Forum on Science & Technology for Sustainable Development

to strengthen scientific and technological capacity pertaining to the implementation of SDGs COMSATS decided to set up the Accra Forum. The Accra Forum will be launched by the President of Ghana and Chairperson of COMSATS in 2020. Read more

Islamic-World Science Net (IWSN) Web-Portal

To promote innovative work of scientific and technological solutions of socio-economic importance, the Islamic Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (ISESCO) awards prizes, every two years, to scientists & technologists from its Member States. Read More…

COMSATS Telehealth Programme (CTH)

COMSATS Telehealth Programme (CTH), launched in 2001, aims to provide cost-effective medical coverage & cater to marginalized communities. More than 55,000 online consultations have been carried out under the programme. Read more…

Joint S&T Research Projects

International Thematic Research Groups (ITRGs) comprise of research scientists belonging to various developing countries and focus on joint research projects in ICTs; agriculture, food security & biotechnology; renewable energy; mathematical modeling; and Climate Change. Read more…

COMSATS Internet Service

COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) was established in 1996. CIS has offered to provide consultancy and training services to institutions in COMSATS’ Member Countries that may wish to launch any service offered by CIS. Read more…

Member Countries

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Featured Publications

COMSATS Featured Publications POMPublications
June 18, 2020

Summary of COMSATS’ Activities (2016 to 2018)

COMSATS Featured Publications POMPublications
June 18, 2020

COMSATS’ Network of International S&T Centres of Excellence

COMSATS, being an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) of 27 developing countries, is proactive advocate and proponent of South-South and Triangular Cooperation. Its most significant manifestation can be seen from high-level interaction…
COMSATS Featured Publications POMPublications
June 18, 2020

South-South and Triangular Cooperation: COMSATS’ Experience

COMSATS Featured Publications POMPublications
June 9, 2020

COVID-19 Crisis and Developing Countries: Digital Health Perspective

By Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen, Dr. Azeema Fareed, Ms. Huma Balouch Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) Technology and Innovation are quintessentially relevant especially in…

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