Islamic states form network of
Science academies in member states of the Organisation of
Islamic Conference (OIC) have agreed to establish a formal network to provide
each other with mutual support and to discuss the scientific aspects of
problems of common concern.
The decision to establish the network was taken at a
two-day meeting held in Islamabad, Pakistan, earlier this week, organised with
the support of the Third World Academy of Sciences, and attended by the
presidents of science academies of OIC countries.
Organisations from 15 nations — including Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Tajikistan and Uganda — as well as the Arab
Academy of Sciences and the Islamic Academy of Sciences, have already signed up
to join the initiative, to be known as the Network of Academies of Sciences in
OIC Countries (NASIC).
It supporters argue that the network could help to build
a unified approach to capacity building in science and technology within OIC
The first president of NASIC will be Atta-ur-Rahman, who
is Pakistan's federal minister of science and technology, and the
coordinator-general of COMSTECH, the OIC's standing committee on scientific and
COMSTECH will provide the organisation's secretariat,
which will be located at the Pakistan Academy of Sciences. The Academy's
secretary-general, Khalid Mahmood Khan, has been appointed secretary-general of
NASIC is intended to be an autonomous, non-governmental,
non-political and non-profit organisation. Its tasks will include developing
scientific research collaborations between members of the network; promoting
cooperation between academies in OIC countries; assisting in building the
capacities of academies in OIC countries to improve their role as independent
expert advisors to governments; and assisting science communities in OIC
countries to set up national independent academies where such bodies do not
In pursuing its objectives, it was also agreed that NASIC
should collaborate with other academies both inside and outside the OIC, as
well as with regional and international organisations concerned with problems
in OIC countries.
The Islamabad meeting appointed four vice-presidents of NASIC:
Murat Zhurinov, president of the National Academy of Sciences, Republic of
Kazakhstan; Adnan Badran, president of the Arab Academy of Sciences, Jordan;
Salleh Mohd Nor, vice-president of the Academy of Science, Malaysia; and G.
Ogunmola, president of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences.
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