The Ministerial Conference of the Ministers of Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states was held in Tehran, from 22 to 24 February 2015, under the theme of: “Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development.”
The conference was attended by representatives from 58 countries and international organizations, as well as Economic Cooperation Organization, Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Addressing the conferees, the Science, Research and Technology Minister of Iran Mohammad Farhadi spoke of the role of innovation and new technologies and their impact on economic development in the modern world.
Speaking at the conference, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani noted that scientific and technological cooperation within the NAM could serve to enhance progress and prosperity in member states and in the long run help attain the ultimate goal of the organization which is to establish peace and equality in the world.
He said extreme poverty and unemployment in developing countries which is also invigorated in turn by an impotent global political and economic system paves the way for growing extremism and violence in the world.
The president highlighted the rights of people to knowledge and technology as an inalienable one.
The conference featured a video address by Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. She urged the countries to create conditions for scientists, increase financial funds to scientific researches.
Then representatives of Sri Lanka, Congo, Liberia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Nicaragua and Egypt delivered speeches at the conference.
Speaking at the conference, Minister of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Ali Abbasov said that, at present member countries of NAM are in different positions of their levels of economic development. Political and economic changes have occurred in the world, since the period of creation of NAM. The experience of developed countries, as well as in recent years Asia-Pacific countries: China, Japan, Korea, Singapore bases on science and high technology on economic and social development.
Azerbaijani Minister noted the importance of technological development. He emphasized that, if we want to compete with developed countries, we should pay special attention to science and technological development. “Unfortunately, the countries like ours have limited opportunity, as the developed countries, for allocating funds for scientific researches. As a result, the lagging continues compared to developed countries”, Mr. Abbasov stressed.
Emphasizing the necessity of expanding cooperation among the NAM member states, Ali Abbasov stressed that, TASIM (Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway) put forward by Azerbaijani Government can be used as a platform. This information highway will contribute to the development of information services, science and technology, distance education by connecting two major regions - Western Europe, East Asia in the Pacific. The UN General Assembly has supported this project in its 3 resolutions, creating “Communications Alliance” for regional cooperation and selected Azerbaijan as the coordinator of the Alliance. Also, the opportunities of Azerbaijan’s satellites can be used for innovative development.
Following the speeches, the event discussed the text of a joint declaration prepared by experts and adopted unanimously.
Within the conference, Mr. Ali Abbasov held bilateral meetings with the heads of delegations of Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, and other countries, Executive head of NAM S&T Centre Prof. Dr. Arun Prakash, Director General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation Shamil Alasgarov, the Executive Director of the Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Shwkat Hamid Khan.