Diplomatic: (Palestine becomes COMSATS’ 23rd Member State)


ISLAMABAD: The State of Palestine has joined the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) as its 23rd Member State, on October 5, 2015, which also marked COMSATS’ 21st Anniversary.

According to a press release here on Tuesday, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Pakistan, Mr. Walid Abu Ali, signed the Accession Agreement on behalf of the Government of Palestine, while the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, signed it on behalf of COMSATS.

With the signing authorized by the Palestinian Government, the Accession Agreement is effective immediately and does not need further ratification. The agreement also entails appointment of a relevant Ministry of the State of Palestine as COMSATS’ Focal Point, and, in due course, nomination of a suitable Palestinian higher education institution to join COMSATS’ Network of International S&T Centres of Excellence.

Held here in Islamabad, the signing ceremony was also witnessed by representatives of the foreign missions of other Member States of COMSATS in Islamabad.

The representatives of 13 diplomatic missions in Pakistan, belonging to Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (DPR), Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Tunisia, attended a dinner meeting earlier that evening, in connection with the two of COMSATS’ statutory body meetings scheduled to be held in Ghana, during the latter half of October.

Rana Tanveer Hussain (Minister), and Fazal Abbas Maken (Federal Secretary), represented COMSATS’ Focal Ministry in Pakistan, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).

The latter would be steering deliberations of the 3rd COMSATS Consultative Committee Meeting to be held in Ghana, in his capacity as the ex-officio Chairperson. Also present on the occasion were other senior officials of MoST and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as COMSATS Secretariat and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Science and Technology hailed the induction of Palestine as Member State of COMSATS. He noted that Palestine has a right to Statehood within the pre-1967 boundaries, and with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan expressed pleasure and satisfaction on his country’s accession to COMSATS, and admired the efforts made by the Executive Director COMSATS in this regard. He noted that Palestine’s accession to COMSATS has taken place just a few days after the historic occasion when the Palestinian flag was raised at the United Nations Headquarters, for which he acknowledged the support extended by other countries.

Recalling the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s recent address at the UN General Assembly, he expressed satisfaction over his support to Palestine and pride for Pakistan-Palestine relationship. He informed that Palestine is committed to actively participate in the programmes and activities of COMSATS.

Earlier, Executive Director COMSATS briefed the participating Ambassadors/Diplomats of Member States regarding the significance and objectives of COMSATS’ upcoming Ghana meetings. He also expressed pleasure on Palestine’s induction as a Member State of COMSATS.

Apart from its representation in the 3rd meeting of COMSATS’ apex statutory body – the Commission – convened in Accra by the President of Ghana, Palestine can now benefit from the deliberations and multilateral technical exchange at COMSATS’ other international fora, as well as take part in its various programmes.

Moreover, Palestinian students can now benefit from the scholarships for COMSATS’ Member States offered by some of COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence. The initiatives of COMSATS now available to Palestine include the International Thematic Research Groups; Distinguished Professorship Scheme; Science, Technology and Innovation Policy consultancy; and capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities.