An Arab Plan of Action for Science and Technology

During the Arab Summit of March 2010, the Heads of State adopted a resolution mandating the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States to develop an S&T strategy for the entire Arab region, in co-ordination with specialized Arab and international bodies.

This strategy is expected to address the important issue of facilitating the mobility of scientists within the region and to enhance collaborative research with the sizeable community of expatriate Arab scientists. Both the strategy and the subsequent Arab Science and Technology Plan of Action (ASTPA) will be drawn up by a panel of experts from the region with the institutional support of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), the Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils and UNESCO, among others.

ASTPA will envisage both national and pan-Arab initiatives in about 14 priority areas, including water, food, agriculture and energy. It is also expected to recommend the launch of an online Arab S&T observatory to monitor the S&T scene in Arab states and highlight any shortcomings in implementation. One of the keys to implementing measures at the country level will lie in first identifying some of the national challenges that Arab countries face.

The strategy was due to be submitted to the Arab summit in late March 2011 for adoption. In light of the unrest in the region, however, the Arab League decided to postpone all upcoming meetings and events.

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