ECO Science Foundation established, 20 Dec. 2011, Islamabad, Pakistan.
ISLAMABAD (December 20, 2011): Economic Cooperation Organization Science Foundation (ECOSF) has been established with its headquarters in Islamabad, ECOSF Board of Trustees announced this in Islamabad Communiqué .
Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science & Technology MMir Changez Khan Jamali presided over the 1st meeting of ECOSF Board of Trustees, which inter alia, approved the basic documents of ECOSF and rendered the Foundation established.
Addressing the meeting, Jamali said ECO has achieved another milestone for betterment of its member states by organizing this meeting which rendered the ECO Science Foundation established at Islamabad.
He congratulated ECO Secretariat, ECO Secretary General and all the member countries, especially those which ratified the charter of ECOSF.
The Minister said ECOSF will provide a platform to the member countries to join hands, to share, exchange and enhance the capabilities of their scientists and technologists for each other's benefit.
ECOSF is mandated in its Charter to evaluate and formulate training programmes for building up skilled scientific and technical manpower at regional level, said Jamali, adding, we must design programmes to strengthen our scientific, engineering and research and development institutions.
He urged the officials of ECOSF and ECO Secretariat to initiate collaborative programmes immediately to address the priority issues like global warming, climate change, energy, environment, water harvesting and conservation and reuse, biodiversity conservation and a number of others.
ECO Secretary General Muhammad Yahya Maroofi said establishment of ECOSF was beginning of a new chapter of cooperation in the field of science and technology among the member states, which is the result of fruitful culmination of efforts for this project.
The secretary general said setting up of ECOSF was a much needed breakthrough in the field of science and technology. This region has been a centre of excellence in S&T and in order to harness this potential we need to build up this strong legacy for our future generations, he added. Mr. Maroofi said ECOSF would be a befitting forum for regional integration with wide spectrum of cooperation. He assured his full support in this regard.
He expressed his sincere thanks to Pakistan's Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan Science Foundation for impeccable arrangements to host ECOSF Board of Trustees Meeting.
Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Ikhlaq Ahmed Tarar in his address at the inaugural session of ECOSF Board of Trustees Meeting, urged the non-ratifying states to ratify the ECOSF charter. It took a long time to reach this stage, said Mr. Tarar, adding, ECOSF would provide a firm basis on which we can build upon our resources and capabilities.
Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro in his welcome address termed the meeting a historic event, which materialized the establishment of ECOSF. He thanked member states for their invaluable input to finalize the basic documents of the foundation.
ECO Member State Afghanistan on this occasion announced a contribution of US$200,000 for ECOSF fund.
A High Level Experts Group (HLEG) Meeting was held in Islamabad-Pakistan before the inaugural Meeting of Board of Trustees of ECOSF.
The HLEG Meeting, chaired by Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, and attended by experts from ECO countries finalized the Basic Documents (Draft Working Formula, Draft Budgetary Estimates for the year 2012, Draft Rules of Procedure and Draft Staff Regulations) of the ECOSF.
Out of total four ratifying members, the following three including Iran, Pakistan and Tajkistan, and the ECO Secretary General participated in the meeting. However, all the member states were represented by their embassies/mission in Islamabad.
Against this background, the 1st BoT Meeting holds a significant importance as it led to realization of the ECOSF-one of the core objectives of ECO, whose Charter was signed by all the 10 Member States back in March 1995 in Islamabad on the occasion of the 3rd ECO Summit.
ECO is the successor of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence from 1964 to 1979. RCD was a trilateral organization comprised of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. The basic Charter of the ECO was formed under the Treaty of Izmir, Turkey on 12th March 1977. The Treaty of Izmair also envisioned the establishment of ECO Science Foundation to function as a reservoir of highly skilled Scientific & Technological Manpower and to facilitate promotion of Scientific Research among the Member States.
In 1992, the Organization was expanded to include seven other members, namely Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. Hence it became an important body of 10 Muslim Countries of the Central Asian Region which are called Member States.