Science for a Sustainable Future: UNESCO Islamabad hosts scientists meeting on World Science Day
In this context various awareness raising activities supported by ECO Science Foundation have also been organized by the PSF Science Caravans across the country.
Officials and representatives of the Ministry of Science and Technology, PSF, ECOSF, UNESCO, and representatives from academia and research institutions in Pakistan attended the event.
Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation in his welcome remarks extended his gratitude to UNESCO for its continuous support and execution of science programmes that would help in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said that PSF is playing a key role in promotion of science education in the country such as annual celebration of World Science Day, dissemination of scientific knowledge in the rural areas through its seven science caravans centers equipped with basic scientific gadgets. He said that the foundation with its broad mandate, including school education and strengthening of university laboratories and research programmes have produced many valuable results and MS and PhD scholars.
In her remarks, Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Representative/Director UNESCO Pakistan said that World Science Day for Peace and Development is an occasion to remember that the sciences should be at the service of humanity as a whole, and should contribute to providing everyone with a deeper understanding of this planet and its people.
She said that science education and research capacity need to be built to allow countries to develop their own solutions to their specific problems. UNESCO provides countries with guidance in developing or revising their national Science Technology and Innovation (STI) policies and in strengthening national capacities in science education and research.
“On this day, let’s commit to creating a scientifically literate, knowledge society for all, with sustainable development as a fore most priority”, she said.
Mr. Fazal Abbass Maken, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology who was the chief guest said that World Science Day is aimed at renewing national and international commitment to use science and technology for national development and achieving peace by appropriate use of its applications.
He said that the international scientific cooperation can initiate joint programmes for the promotion of science education, scientific research and science applications with UNESCO’s lead role in the area.
He congratulated UNESCO, PSF and ECO-SF for organizing this important event today. He also congratulated the prize winner students, assembled at Islamabad from all over the country.
Speaking at the convention, Dr. Manzoor Soomro President, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Science Foundation, mentioned that this year’s World Science Day is comparatively more important due to approval of recently SDGs by the United Nations General Assembly and release of the UNESCO Report 2015, just yesterday at UNESCO Headquarters during UNESCO General Conference.
He emphasized on rigorously pursuing the SDG-4 “Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for all” with focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and SDG-5 “Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls”.
Eminent scientists of Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Aslam Baig, HI, SI, TI, and Professor at the National Centre for Physics said that the prerequisite for development and prosperity is huge investment in Science and Technology which will enable us to enhance the skilled Human Resource Development as the future of Pakistan lies on the knowledge based economy.
Dr. S.T.K. Naeem, Consultant at COMSTECH expressed that science is the greatest glory for mankind. It is the search for answers to questions about the nature.
She said that science is important equally for all the countries of the world, emphasizing on more investment in research and development (R&D) which is the key to economic growth.
The institutions should be strengthened and right environment should be provided for the improvement of science in the country, she added.
At the end of the event, PSF Gold Medals, certificates and cash prizes co-sponsored by PSF and ECOSF were distributed among the winner students of Inter-Board Competitions, Intel ISEF while the Asian Science Camp-2015 were awarded to outstanding students and researchers.