Islamabad: A number of foreign dignitaries, representatives of a number of Pakistan based and international organizations and Pakistani Ministries of S&T and Foreign Affairs gathered in Islamabad to celebrate induction of Somalia as the 26th Member State of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS).
The Federal Republic of Somalia formally became COMSATS’ member during a signing ceremony held last month at COMSATS Secretariat, when the Minister for Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education, Somalia, His Excellency Mr. Abdi Dahir Osman, and Executive Director COMSATS, Dr SM Junaid Zaidi, signed Somalia’s accession agreement.
With a Eurasian country Turkey as its member, COMSATS has a presence in four continents, the other two being Latin American and Africa. Inclusion of Somalia has further strengthened COMSATS’ presence in Africa. Somalia is the 12th African State to join the organization. Besides COMSATS, Somalia currently holds membership in African Development Bank (ADB), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), G-77, IDA, IDB, IFAD, NAM, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, WTFU, WHO, and WTO.
Speaking to the audience that included a number of diplomats from member and non-member states of COMSATS, Dr Zaidi welcomed Somalia to COMSATS’ fraternity. Taking stock of the challenges being faced by the developing countries, Dr. Zaidi asserted the need to have stronger international collaborations to help overcome common challenges. He also heighted the importance of strengthening the triangular relationship so as to get the most out of South-South Cooperation for the developing countries.
Representing Somalia, the ambassador of Somalia to Islamabad, Khadija Almakhzoumi, spoke on the occasion. She was pleased for Somalia to now be able to benefit from a number of opportunities available with COMSATS and looked forward to the country being an active part of the organization’s international activities.
By virtue of this membership, Somalia will be represesnted at the Heads-of-State level Commission of COMSATS and the ministerial-level Consultative Committee. The country can now also have representation at COMSATS’ technical cooperation forum, the Coordinating Council.
Somalia would now be able to benefit, inter alia, from COMSATS’ scholarships schemes to study at COMSATS’ Network Members including COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), as well as joint research under COMSATS International Thematic Research Groups.
COMSATS is set to further strengthen its South-South and North-South cooperation along with its efforts to expand the horizons of its membership. The Member States of COMSATS, now including Somalia, can benefit from the opportunities arising from new and broader international cooperation and collaborations.