Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)



Science, Technology & Innovation




09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Organization Type

Intergovernmental Organization




The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is an inter-governmental-organization established in 1994 with a membership of 27 member countries, with its Secretariat in Islamabad, Pakistan. COMSATS strives for the sustainable socio-economic uplift of developing countries through the judicious use of science and technology. COMSATS provides an institutional platform for promoting South-South cooperation and Triangular cooperation in collaboration with partners in the North.

The idea of establishing a high-level Commission on Science and Technology for countries of the South was conceived by Pakistani Nobel Laureate, Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, in recognition of the increasingly widening gap of scientific knowledge and economic development between the North and the South. It was realized that sustainable socio-economic development in the South cannot be achieved without building and sustaining indigenous capacities in science and technology and that the strengthening of South-South and North-South collaboration, and exchange of technical know-how, is imperative for the generation and sustenance of such capacities. Professor Salam’s enthusiasm and personal contacts motivated a number of Heads of State/Government of developing nations to join hands for the establishment of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS).

In 1994, on the invitation from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, representatives from several developing countries met on 4th and 5th October in Islamabad and agreed to establish the Commission as a high-level forum, represented by Heads of State/Government, aiming at sustainable socio-economic uplift of the developing countries through appropriate applications of science and technology.

The General Meeting of the Commission is the highest forum of COMSATS, which is represented by the Heads of State/Government of COMSATS’ twenty-seven Member States. COMSATS’ membership is spread across three continents, i.e. Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The first General Meeting of the Commission was held in 1994 that led to the establishment of COMSATS itself, while the 2nd General Meeting was held in April 2012 in Islamabad at the level of Ministers/ officials nominated by the Heads of State/Government. During the 2nd General Meeting, the Chairpersonship of the Commission was passed on to the Republic of Ghana with a consensus vote. The President of Ghana, is the incumbent Chairperson of COMSATS, who is now serving the second tenure after being re-elected in the 3rd General Meeting of COMSATS, held on October 2015, in Accra, Ghana.

Mission Statement:

To help create a world where all nations are at peace with one another and capable of providing a good quality of life to their populations in a sustainable way, using modern scientific and technological resources.


As derived from the Statutes of the Commission, the mission of COMSATS has been translated into the following broad objectives:

  • To sensitize the countries in the South to the centrality of science and technology in the development process, to the adequate resource allocation for research and development, and to the integration of science and technology in the national and regional development plans;

  • To support the functioning and activities of the Network of International Science and Technology Centres for Sustainable Development in the South, established at the foundation meeting of the Commission;

  • To support other major initiatives designed to promote indigenous capacity in science and technology for science-led sustainable development, and to help mobilise long-term financial support from international donor agencies and from Government/Institutions in the North and the South to supplement the financing of international scientific projects in the South;

  • To provide leadership and support for North-South and South-South cooperative schemes in education, training and research, such as the proposal to set up programmes of scholarships for research at centres of excellence in the South; and

  • To support the relevant programmes and initiatives of major scientific organizations working for the development and promotion of science and technology in the South.

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