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Leaders of OIC countries affirm commitment to increase investment in science and technology

OIC Summit on Science and Technology in AstanaAstana : Heads of state and government of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stressed the need to increase investment in science, technology and innovation, pointing out that the transfer of science and technology is one of the main ways to accelerate the economic development of developing countries.

In their final communique issued Monday at the conclusion of the First Islamic Science and Technology Summit hosted by the OIC in the Kazakh capital of Astana on September 10-11, leaders of the OIC member states emphasized their determination to eradicate extreme poverty from their societies, including intellectual poverty.

They reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the OIC Charter, particularly advancing the acquisition and popularization of knowledge in consonance with the lofty ideals of Islam to achieve intellectual excellence; and enhancing and developing science and technology and encouraging research and cooperation among the member states in these fields.

The leaders expressed their resolve to reach the goals of OIC Science and Technology Agenda 2026 through a focused series of initiatives and programs in education, skills development, basic and applied sciences and big science which will be implemented through multinational and multi-institutional stakeholders in the member states.

Also in their communique, they encourage the member states to make universities and other institutions of higher education, particularly scientific research institutions, as centers of excellence so that they can play an effective role in developing within the society a culture of inquiry, intellectual pursuit and merit.

The leaders agreed among themselves to individually and collectively pursue cooperation among their countries for the sustainable development of their peoples and to confront the societal challenges of the 21st Century.

They further reaffirmed their commitment to increase the allocation of funding for the development of education, science, health and water to achieve the goals set forth in OIC 2025 Plan of Action and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030).

They urged the member states to develop a joint policy framework to facilitate movement and employment of professionals, mutual recognition of diplomas, the inflow of new technologies and projects. In this regard, the leaders welcomed the initiative of Kazakhstan’s President, entitled “The Islamic Infrastructure Integration”, aimed at ensuring the integration of infrastructure in the field of transport, energy, trade and investment.

The communique called on the OIC member states to actively promote and support collaborative research programs in the field of agriculture, food security, conservation of eco-systems, including the fight against drought, desertification, effective management of water resources and others. It also called for reviewing the security of digital content by examining and harmonizing existing laws, policies and response related to cyber-security in the member states, keeping in mind its profound implications for all affairs of state and the emergence of meta-data.

The leaders expressed appreciation for the launching of the Science, Technology and Innovation Fund by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. which will significantly contribute to implementing the OIC Agenda 2026 on science, technology and innovation as well as addressing the development needs of the OIC countries. Therefore, they called upon the member states to contribute to the Fund.

In the communique, the leaders welcomed the offer of the government of Uzbekistan to host the 2nd OIC Summit on Science and Technology. They mandated the OIC General Secretariat and the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) to work with the Uzbek government to make necessary preparations for the convening of the next OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Uzbekistan.

—AB/IINA

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