Sunday April 14, 2024

Collaborative scientific efforts can foster peace and sustainable development

By Rasheed Khalid
March 03, 2024
Dr Saleem H Ali, chair, Department of Geography, University of Delaware, USA. — UOD Website
Dr Saleem H Ali, chair, Department of Geography, University of Delaware, USA. — UOD Website

Islamabad : Dr Saleem H Ali, chair, Department of Geography, University of Delaware, USA, has said that that collaborative scientific efforts can transcends national boundaries to foster peace and sustainable development.

Dr Ali was delivering keynote address at a public talk on “Pakistan’s opportunity for science diplomacy in South Asia” hosted here by Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), Dr Ali underscored Pakistan's unique position, given its rich scientific heritage and strategic geographical location, suggesting that the country can play a leading role in utilising science for diplomatic endeavours on a global scale, not just within South Asia. He stressed the importance of addressing pressing global challenges such as climate change, pandemic preparedness and sustainable development goals.

He advocated a dynamic and adaptable diplomatic approach proposing the establishment of international agreements on research integrity, merit-based criteria for international students, mechanisms for prevention science, a crisis research collaboration fund and effective science communication strategies to counter misinformation. His comprehensive framework positioned Pakistan as an important player in influencing the global scientific landscape and contributing significantly to international cooperation and progress.

Kamran Akhtar, additional secretary, participating as discussant highlighted the progress made by Pakistan within the context of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ science diplomacy initiative.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Sohail Mahmood, DG, ISS, noted that science diplomacy was helping to foster beneficial collaboration on key areas of focus with the relevant institutions, international organisations, and countries. He added that science diplomacy in South Asia offers the chance to address common environmental challenges and help enhance technological innovation and economic growth. Collaborative research and development projects can lead to the creation of new technologies, improved infrastructure, and increased scientific capacity in the region. Kamran Akhtar, Muhammad Adeel from Foreign Office and Dr Neelum Nigar, Khalid Mahmood from ISS also addressed the participants.