The 3-day “Youth Forum on Biotechnology”, jointly organized by the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF), was officially opened on 13 September 2022 by H.E. Dr. Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and COMSTECH Chairman.
Hosted by COMSTECH, the Forum is to focus its proceedings on the contribution by resource persons from Kazakhstan Pakistan and Turkiye. The President of Pakistan and COMSTECH Chairman, in his keynote address to the Opening Ceremony, said that biotechnology was a landmark technological development critical for the green revolution to be possible, and emphasized the need to develop intellect and evolve new ideas, as the scientific instruments guided the humanity to find the truth. Dr. Alvi urged the young scientists to work hard and come up with novel and innovative ethical and moral solutions for the humanity and quick adoption of the new technologies for the rapid growth of the developing world.
On behalf of H.E. Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet, IOFS Director General, Dr. Ismail Abdelhamid, Director of Program & Projects Office, was among those who addressed the solemn session to stress that the biotechnology was critical for the human development and achieving food security, and reminded the audience that the Forum would help participants to explore new avenues, generate novel ideas and methodologies to understand the biotechnology and its use to address the issue of food security. Finally, he presented a brief review of IOFS program and projects within the five pillars of the IOFS 2031 Strategic Vision.
The other two dignitaries addressing the Opening Session was the Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, and CEO of Young Business Hub, Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, Mr. Sami Serdar, and both were unanimous in pointing out the importance of agricultural biotechnology in helping production of enough food to feed the hunger.
It should be underscored that the inaugural session was also attended by the Ambassadors/Diplomats of Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Somalia, Qatar, and Uzbekistan. The three-day Forum is being attended by more than 170 national and international in-person participants, whereas many people from 35 OIC Member States virtually followed the proceedings.
On the sidelines of the Forum, Dr. Ismail and Mr. Abdula Manafi Mutualo, Senior Liaison Officer, visited the Headquarters of the Pakistan Agricultural Research (PARC) to meet with his Chairman, Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, to discuss issues of mutual interest, particularly the idea of holding in Islamabad, tentatively at the end of October 2022, a 3-day meeting of experts on effects of climate change on wheat production.