Addressing the opening session, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen said that this summit is a historic event because it is the first ever Summit of the OIC heads of state and government dedicated to the promotion and advancement of science and technology as an enabler and driver of socio-economic development of OIC countries. “This summit is unique in its premise as it affirms that Islam is a religion of thought, reason and science that liberates from the slavery of illusions and myths, and calls for a middle stance and for combating radicalization.”
Ministers of science and technology from the member states discussed and adopted the ‘OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda 2026’ as prelude to its consideration and adoption by OIC leaders during the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology, which will start tomorrow. Al-Othaimeen emphasized that the OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda was drawn up after extensive consultations with 157 scientists and technologists from 20 OIC countries and has been further enriched in light of the recommendations received from the member states. He affirmed that the Agenda presents a holistic view of emerging science and technology, and its social and economic spinoffs. “The document sets priorities and specific recommendations to help member states in tackling the challenges of improving education standards, creating employment opportunities for the youth, mitigating the adverse impact of climate change, and the work for improving human health, energy and water resources”, he underlined.
Furthermore, he highlighted, the document lists some big science programs, which can be jointly undertaken by several countries, stating that these projects will be key enablers for building the knowledge economy and industrializing the economies of member states. Al-Othaimeen also underlined that the success of the proposed ‘OIC STI Agenda 2026’ depends upon mutual cooperation and collaboration among OIC member states. He called for shifting from national programs to cooperative and complementary activities.
In his speech, Yerlan Sagadiyev, Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, welcomed the participants, affirming that holding the OIC S&T Summit in Astana is proof of the priority OIC member states giving to science, technology and innovation.