President ECOSF lectures on Science Diplomacy in a Certificate Course on Contemporary Diplomacy and International Relations organized by IPDS and RIPP

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President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro participated as distinguished speaker and delivered his lecture on June 18, 2020 on Science Diplomacy in an online Certificate Course on “Contemporary Diplomacy and International Relations” that ran from April to June 2020. The Certificate Course was jointly organized by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS) and Riphah Institute of Public Policy (RIPP) of the Riphah University Islamabad. Ms. Farhat Asif the President of IPDS moderated the lecture and presented her welcome note to the speaker and the participants. A large number of diplomats, representatives of strategic think tanks, experts in the international relations, business people and scientists & academicians were participants of the course.

During his lecture, Prof. Soomro emphasized that Science and Technology have immense power to address issues of great importance to all societies, and how the Science and Diplomacy help each other’s objectives. Prof. Soomro elucidated that technological advanced countries are now capable of influencing nations by exerting soft-power to achieve their economic goals, and its efficacy and impact is often more persuasive than hard-power.

He further demonstrated the case of soft-power where tech-giants like Google, Huawei, General Electric and Apple: their products are so demand driven with high utility that even rival countries are left with no option but to use them. He shared the examples of CERN, SESAME, the International Space Station and the ICTP in Italy etc. That is how technologically advanced countries use science and technology in combination with persuasive diplomacy to gain their economic goals. Therefore, the developing countries including Pakistan and other ECO Member Countries have to move up the technological ladder to develop capabilities in STI to remain globally competitive.

Prof. Soomro shared that ECOSF is outcome of science diplomacy and the Foundation since its inception is actively promoting science diplomacy not only among the Member States but beyond the region by bringing expertise from advanced countries. He further shared a number of activities and programs that Foundation carries out in collaboration with its leading global STI organization. Our international partners and collaborators have been instrumental in enabling the ECOSF to achieve its intended goals, he added. He also proposed an idea of Science Ambassadors and Fellowship Programmes to promote Science Diplomacy for pursuing national goals as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the end, Prof. Soomro responded to participants’ questions and generated an interactive discussion amongst the participants.

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