(KAZAKHSTAN)

More than 50 Muslim majority countries have backed plans to invest in science and technology innovations designed to tackle major societal challenges.

We reported last week that the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest inter-governmental body after the UN, was holding a landmark science and tech summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, which concluded last night.

The OIC Astana Declaration “reaffirmed the commitment of member states towards increasing investment in education, science, health and water in order to achieve the goals of the OIC’s 2025: Plan of Action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030).”

It also encouraged “all Muslim world countries to strengthen the culture of education and science, especially for youth and women as a means of enhancing social and economic modernization and socio-economic progress.”

On renewable energy, OIC nations have agreed to make it at least 10% of their energy mix by 2025, to contribute to a reduction in greenhouses gases. Members will also work together to advance energy storage systems and the use of micro-grid technologies in remote communities.

OIC Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology, Naeem Khan, said: “As more people in the Islamic world emerge out of poverty, energy demand is increasing. This is being aggravated by climate change, with many OIC countries inhabiting climate-sensitive regions already facing desertification and degradation of land and water. Several studies have also shown a link between climate change and the subsequent effect on drought, food prices and the outbreak of conflict.

“The OIC organised the first Islamic-world science and technology summit to galvanise the Muslim world in investing in the core scientific and technological tools to generate solutions against emerging development threats.”

 

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