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Remarks by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood

(Signing of Memorandum of Cooperation with Khwarizmi Science Society/KSS), 19 August 2022

Dear Dr. Sabieh Anwar, General Secretary, Khwarizmi Science Society

Distinguished participants;

Officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the Foreign Office for today’s signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Khwarizmi Science Society (KSS) in the domain of science popularization. Science popularization is one of the key objectives of the Ministry’s ‘Science Diplomacy initiative’ through which we are actively promoting indigenous scientific and technological achievements and connecting local stakeholders with international partners.

We deeply appreciate the Khwarizmi Science Society and its General Secretary Dr. Sabieh Anwar, for their wholehearted support to the Ministry’s initiative. The Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry and Khwarizmi Science Society is a good example of public-private partnership for the advancement of foreign policy objectives and in pursuit of public good.

Science popularization is a vital pathway for employing science, technology, and innovation (STI) as an enabler for socio-economic development. Societies that value and promote science are the societies commanding influence and respect in the international community.

In the recent years, there has been an expansion in the organizations and start-ups that are developing events and products such as STEM kits for the purposes of science popularization. I must laud the efforts of the Khwarizmi Science Society in scaling these efforts and organizing grand events like the “Lahore Science Mela” which promote science learning for all communities.

Through the formalization of this partnership with the Khwarizmi Science Society, we intend to deploy some concrete deliverables such as the development of STEM labs in selected public sector schools. To begin with, the labs will be established in public sector schools in Gilgit Baltistan followed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Furthermore, through this collaboration, we intend to provide KSS a platform to showcase its activities globally and seek international partnerships. We are ready to provide necessary support to its activities, such as the Lahore Science Mela and also add a new dimension to our science diplomacy activities.

Pakistan has a rich history of science and innovation and has played a pivotal role in the development of various intergovernmental scientific organizations such as COMSTECH, COMSATS and ECO-SF. It is the need of the hour to use science popularization to further the impact of ongoing activities and engage in capacity-building of young scientists. Technological progress and society-driven innovation are vitally important as we increasingly face global challenges of food security and climate change.

I want to once again thank the KSS for their sincere efforts and hope to create substantial impact through this partnership.

Thank you!

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