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March 12, 2018, Islamabad: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in a special ceremony with partner universities, the diplomatic corps and COMSATS members, staff and exchange students. The agreement aims to promote science, technology and innovation through South-South cooperation among their respective member states, by means of comprehensive regional and cross-regional cooperation initiatives geared towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The signing ceremony was held in Islamabad Pakistan where Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director of COMSAT and PIDF Secretary General, François Martel established the formal mutual cooperation.

The agreement includes the fields of education and science with a focus on research and collaborative events including conducting capacity building and training workshops, joint publications and exchange of information on issues of mutual interest.

“PIDF and COMSATS share common objectives of promoting sustainable social and economic development in our respective member States and coordinating our respective efforts in pursuit of these goals, which are shared between these two organisations, is now made possible through this MoU”, said PIDF Secretary General Martel.

He further commented that as the Pacific platform for promoting South-South cooperation by means of a formal agreement with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), PIDF is enthusiastic about this partnership focusing on sustainable and inclusive development of Pacific Islands and the promotion of South-South cooperation in science and technology with the objective of achieving sustainable socio-economic progress in developing countries. The Secretary General also acknowledged Pakistan as a development partner of the PIDF and its continued support towards enabling sustainable blue and green economies in the Pacific.

COMSATS is an intergovernmental organization with its permanent Secretariat based in Pakistan and was established in 1994. The organisation comprising 26 Member States, strives to promote South-South cooperation in the fields of Science and Technology that are most relevant to socio-economic development. However, there are no Pacific island country members of COMSATS.

A Network of 21 Centres of Excellence in four continents affiliated with COMSATS, provides the necessary pool of human resources and scientific infrastructure for undertaking a variety of capacity-building programmes, bilateral and multilateral cooperative research and consultancy/advocacy for the promotion of science &technology as primary ingredient of national development plans.