COMSTECH (Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation) is a Ministerial Standing Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and Promotion amongst the members of OIC, established by the Third Islamic Summit held in Makkah al Mukarramah/Taif in January 1981. The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is its Chairman and the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Co-Chairperson.
Their stated objectives are:
- Assessment of the human and material resources of OIC member states and determination of science and technology needs and requirements.
- Building up the indigenous capability of member states in the fields of science and technology through cooperation and mutual assistance.
- Promotion of cooperation and coordination amongst the member states in science and technology. Creation of an effective institutional structure of planning, research and development and monitoring of science and technology activities in high technology areas.
The 15th session of the COMSTECH General Assembly had been held in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 31 May-1 June 2016, in the Presence of Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain.
Major agenda of the meeting was ‘’The Ten Year Science & Technology Plan of Action for Development of Science and Technology in OIC states’’ prepared by COMSTECH in consultations with renowned scientists from 20 Member States. After identifying the priority areas, recommendations were made for multidisciplinary research in emerging areas of basic and applied sciences and technology. Many science initiatives were proposed which range from space sciences to plasma physics, nanotechnology, as well as materials, photonics, energy, food and water, climate change, computing and cyber security, which are likely to have the highest potential for economic growth.
“The transnational nature of the contemporary challenges of poverty, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, and water and food security necessitate collective responses at the global level. All these problems have scientific dimensions and provide for a new role of science in international policy-making and diplomacy”,
said the OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani.
To encourage new start-ups in high technology, a Venture Capital Fund has also been proposed for use in OIC countries. An important component of the Plan was the Ibn Al Haitham Program, which will be intended to encourage interchange of scientists across member States.