Wednesday December 01, 2021

Covid-19 exposes failure of international diplomacy

January 11, 2021

Islamabad: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the failure of international diplomacy in this one year as the countries were left to tackle this pandemic challenge on their own.

The situation has developed a realisation among all the countries that they must have to build their capacity in the field of science and technology. This was observed by Coordinator General COMSTECH, Professor Dr. M Iqbal Choudhary during an interview with this agency.

He said it had been observed that thousands of people died across the globe however, the Muslim world has suffered a lot due to its lack of capacity in the field of science and technology especially the third world countries which are least developed and even faced a dearth of hospitals and trained staff.

The pandemic has proved that the improvement in the governance system and input of science and technology in the policies of the government were indispensable for the country to cope with any future challenge.

“Only those countries have tackled this pandemic wisely which have included science and technology in their policies,” he observed.

Emphasising the importance of building indigenous capacity in the field of science and technology sector, Dr. Iqbal Choudhary said Pakistan had successfully performed on all the fronts as our governance had performed in the right way and the government had included science and technology in its consultations aimed at dealing with pandemic right from day one.

He said Pakistan was the country which was relying on importing all the COVID materials however now it is able to manufacture 90 percent materials locally. “The pandemic was at a time a challenge and opportunity for us,” he added.

He said COMSTECH is the biggest organization of science and technology representing 57 countries and its mandate includes developing science-related cooperation, identifying the needs of member countries and capacity building and developing proper policy and institutional mechanisms.

The COMSTECH was formed in 1981 and is a ministerial standing committee and the most powerful institution of OIC and it is the only OIC institution Pakistan had.

The COMSTECH in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO, Science related institutions, and OIC Jeddah initiated a project of capacity building of staff in virology and vaccination realizing the dearth of trained staff in all member countries for vaccine trials.

“Vaccine trial is also an opportunity as if we can get the training of conducting trials, we can also learn its development,” he said adding, COMSTECH had played its role in various Muslim countries where clinical trials were started, he added.