Launch of The International Science, Technology and Innovation centre for South South Cooperation (ISTIC) under the auspices of UNESCO

The official launch of ISTIC was officiated by Y.B. Datuk Dr Maximus J. Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia, on 22 May 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The launch was attended by UNESCO representatives, Fellows of Akademi Sains Malaysia (the Malaysian Academy of Sciences), officers from MOSTI and national and regional representatives from more than 30 countries.

The ISTIC has the following structure: Governing Board, Executive Committee, Scientific Council and secretariat. The structure of ISTIC is stipulated in the agreement instigating the centre. This agreement was signed on 21 January 2008 by UNESCO and the Government of Malaysia at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

During the launch of the centre in May, the secretariat organized scientific presentations on various issues related to the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the South. These issues included STI policies, capacity-building, collaboration with existing STI networks, new technologies and the combined theme of Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity.

The secretariat also organized a series of meetings of the Governing Board, which is responsible for guiding the activities of ISTIC. The Board comprises a chairperson (from Malaysia), representatives of UNESCO, China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Egypt, Qatar, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Tobago and Trinidad, Japan, Canada, Italy, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Organization of the Islamic Conference Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and the Islamic Development Bank.

First decisions of the Governing Board

In May 2008, the Governing Board adopted the following decisions:

    • Appointment of the members of the Scientific Council; Appointment of the Executive Director of the Akademi Sains Malaysia as interim director of ISTIC until the appointment of a permanent director within a period of six months following the signature of the agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Malaysia.
    • Short-term programmes of the Centre:
      • Capacity-building on STI policy;
      • Networking between existing regional centres within the framework of ISTIC;
      • Clearinghouse of best practices in STI; this activity will be conducted under the coordination of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).
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