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At the Conclusion of the 41st Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Minister Jeddah Declaration: Welcomes the Establishment of a Ministerial Group on Al-Quds and Decides on Headquarters for the Human Rights Commission

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

Date: 19/06/2014 – 
At the conclusion of its 41st Session held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 18 -19, June 2014, the OIC Council of Foreign Minister has declared its determination to advanced the OIC and boost its efficiency, and to support the efforts of its Secretary General, Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, to continue with Organization’s structural reform and refining of its structures in all fields.

The Foreign Ministers welcomed, through their “Jeddah Declaration” issued on Thursday 19th June 2014, the setting up of a ministerial Contact Group on the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and called for prompt action to convey the OIC’s message on Al-Quds to those states that share the political, moral and ethical responsibility towards the Palestinian issue all in addition to supporting the OIC’s efforts to carry through the strategic plan for the development of the city of Al-Quds and to mobilize the necessary resources for the benefit of Beit Mal Al-Quds Al-Sharif. The Ministers placed the full responsibility on Israel, the occupying force, for the stalled peace process, as a result of its failure to honour its commitment to release the fourth batch of Palestinian detainees and its continued policy of settlement, blockading and judeization of Al-Quds/Jerusalem and alteration of its geographic and demographic features.

The Ministers rejected also the presidential elections recently held in Syria, along with all its ensuing results, as it conflicts with the Geneva declaration which calls for the setting up of a transitional government with a view to revitalize the peace process for the implementation of the transitional phase under the joint leadership of all parties. They strongly condemned the Syrian regime as to the implementation of the Security Council Res. No. 2139 which calls for facilitating the access of humanitarian relief to the Syrian citizens without obstructions, and called on all Member States and concerned effective international players to increase their contributions in view of the rising numbers of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries.
The Jeddah Declaration also expressed concern over the developments in Libya and urged all the Libyan parties to engage in an inclusive national dialogue to achieve a consensual solution such as to end the crisis.

With regard to the situation in Central Africa, the OIC Ministers of Foreign Affairs called for an immediate end to all the forms of violence faced by the Muslims there, and pointed to their support for the OIC Secretary General’s efforts and those of his envoy to Central Africa. They also called on the OIC Member States to extend the necessary humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflict and to the neighboring countries hosing the refugees.

The Jeddah Declaration further expressed solidarity with Yemen, Mali, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as with the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir, Turkish Cyprus, and Kosovo, in their aspiration towards a peaceful and secure life.

The Declaration called for an end to the ongoing violence and discrimination against the Muslim Rohingya people in the province of Arakan in Myanmar, in addition to expressing support for the Secretary General’s decision to designate a special envoy to Myanmar in favour of reaching satisfactory solutions that ensure the rights of the Muslim Rohingya and protect them against oppression.

While the Ministers also condemned the acts of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and while they reiterated their support for and solidarity with the people and government of Nigeria to neutralize this rebellious group, they reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to the consolidation of cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism, and paid tribute to the efforts of the International Centre set up by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the UN umbrella to combat terrorism.

Also, the Jeddah Declaration called for a firm stand against extremism which hides behind religion or sectarianism. It called for steering away from accusing others, among the followers of Islamic doctrines, of apostasy, and called upon Member States to expand dialogue among the doctrines and to consolidate moderation, balance and tolerance. In this framework, the Ministers welcomed again the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, to set up a centre for Islamic Intra-doctrinal Dialogue as approved by the Fourth Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah Al Mukarramah in August 2012. They also invited the OIC General Secretariat to see to the prompt implementation of this resolution in coordination with the host country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that the Centre may start assuming its role.

The Foreign Ministers welcomed also the selection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host the headquarters of the Islamic Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission.

On the economic front, the Jeddah Declaration urged the OIC General Secretariat to restructure the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry so that it may be more effective in enabling the business people to play and impactful role in boosting cooperation between the Islamic Chambers in the Member States. The Declaration also stressed the need to enhance the existing cooperation within the OIC framework in the area of standardizing Halal foodstuff criteria, accreditation and certification, and to encourage international recognition of the OIC Halal standards. Furthermore the Jeddah Declaration emphasized the need to adopt ways and means to expand financing services for the benefit of small and medium enterprises and develop them in the Member States as a powerful means to resolve the issues of financial exclusion and poverty, and to empower women and tackle the issue of unemployment.

The Jeddah Declaration welcomed the offer made by the State of Kuwait to host the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Minister in 2015.

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan Laureate Freedom of Worship Award 2014

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Throughout his life, HRH has been dedicated to the improvement of mutual understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds, and enhancing dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews. He has initiated, founded and is actively involved in a number of Jordanian and international institutes and committees which promote interreligious dialogue and human dignity. HRH co-chaired the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and is currently Chairman of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, the Foundation for Inter-religious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, and Chair Emeritus of the World conference of Religions for Peace. In 2013 he was appointed to be Chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).

 

Acceptance speech of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal for the Freedom of Worship Award

Four Freedoms Awards Ceremony, 2014

 Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen.

 After such an introduction there is really not much for me to say!

 I hope you are not a credulous audience because James was too generous with his remarks and I thank you again.

 Your Majesty, when your mother, then Princess Beatrix, came to Jordan a few years ago with your late father Prince Claus, she brought with her not a Philips radio, but a gift of a copperplate with the narrative of the journeys of the famed Dutch historian and traveler Hurgronje.  The copperplate included images of Mecca and even of my late grandfather King Abdullah, aged six. It was a moving testimony to the fact that affinity between peoples is essential to inner peace.

 We speak of peace, inner peace, peace with our neighbours, but I think the most important point that Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not mention, is that freedom brings responsibility.  When the great republic of Athens sought not a better life, but freedom from responsibility, as Edward Gibbon reminds us, Athens ceased to be free. So it is with an enormous sense of responsibility that someone like me, trying to think out of the box, Prime Minister, if I may, looks at my sisters, to my right and my left, looks at what they represent and is reminded instantly of the fact that humankind, man and womanhood, live on one planet. We have no other earth to go to.

 Yet when after Aung San Suu Kyi, my former colleague at Oxford University, was freed from house arrest, something many of us had called for, we ask whether it is possible for something to be done about the plight of the Rohingya Muslims, we are told that this is an internal Myanmar issue.

 And today, representatives of ‘Boko Haram’, figuratively meaning, Western or modern education is a sin, are portrayed all over our television screens and newswires, carrying the holy book of Islam whilst claiming the right in the name of Islam to enslave young girls to prevent them from learning. The faith that started with one word ‘read’ is being destroyed by outlaws.

 In the world of news, is it he who portrays the reality on the ground, as are my sisters at this gathering, who is given the greater credence? That we have in Afghanistan the creation of a radio station is extremely important, but who internationally is going to listen to that radio station? And listen to the reality of the authentic grassroots story? Who really cares about the humanity of Somalia for example? And as for Pakistan, I ask who is aware of the fact that Pakistan is the largest host country to refugees in the world?

 Pope Francis is visiting the Holy Land almost as we speak. In that Holy Land, Jews, Christians and Muslims have a history of shared heritage for millennia. Some good, some not so good.  But essentially the teachings of our faiths have nothing to do with the aberrations of human beings.  Indeed, quite the contrary.

 If you consider 2014, we are 100 years from 1914, what have we learned from 1914 and subsequent events? Two huge civil wars in Europe, referred to as World Wars, had profound consequences for the peoples of the world. And I think that it is time to bear in mind that until human dignity is put at the centre of the construct of an architecture for  a new world order, it is impossible to think of stabilization of  populations on our planet. As I said recently talking to my friend Henry Kissinger, globalisation, yes, but there must be equity, or some degree of equity between cultures. Is it the right of the role of the radio station or the role of media to disseminate the caricature of the Prophet and then to stand back as people kill each other from Nigeria to Bangladesh? Equally, has this abomination of a man, this representative of Boko Haram the right to hold the holy book and to terrorise innocent children of God. I said yesterday at dinner that the war in Afghanistan has cost 17 trillion US Dollars. What have we achieved? Extremism has simply moved to other parts of the world.

 So I would like to go back to faith and say in the words of the Holy Qur’an we vie, therefore, with one another in doing good works (2:148). The road is long. But we cannot afford not to commit ourselves. Where there is faith, there is hope. And I would like to think of a patrimony or heritage for all of humanity. None better than Jerusalem which could become a centre, not   for monologue about   the need for dialogue, but for  conversation incorporating a civilized framework for disagreement. I believe in the noble art of conversation.

 When will we revisit our texts, our heritage and our history, and when will our neighbour revisit his or her texts, heritage or history so we can speak of developing a shared ethic of human solidarity?  The humanitarian focus at the center of our drive to keep an eye on the traditions of enlightenment. The enlightenment is not about science and technology alone. It is about ethics and values. You speak of Islam and the West. Islam is heterogeneous. The West is heterogeneous. Neither are monoliths. And I think it is important to bear in mind that Ishraq, illumination came from the East – where the sun rises. The illumination of millennia, Confucian, Buddhist, Jains, Sikh, and so many others came from the East. The wisdom of the ancients. Is it not time today to consider that from the East came wisdom and compassion?

 I pay tribute to my late mother-in-law, the Begum Shaista Ikramullah. There are no mother in-law jokes in my family. When she, the first Muslim, Indian (as she then was) woman to gain a PhD from the University of London, working in 1948 with Eleanor Roosevelt on the Declaration of Human Rights and Convention Against Genocide, declared:

 It is imperative that there be an accepted code of civilized behaviour.

 And later she said:

The ideas emphasized in the [Declaration] are far from being realized, but there is a goal to which those who believe in the freedom of the human spirit can try to reach.[1]

 Ladies and Gentlemen, to combat a world that represses the weak to support the strong, we need what President Roosevelt called:

A greater conception, the moral order.

 I would invite all those concerned with the Roosevelt message, to give serious consideration this year to a call for justice in the United Nations’ formulation of the sustainable development goals. Or is it the correlation between justice and human dignity and sustainability that is important?  We can only be resilient in as much as we recognise the importance of promoting equities, both economic and social on the one side, and ethical on the other. There are a lot of people making money out of the black or grey economy. The criminal economy of drugs, weapons and money laundering, is more significant than the official economy of many countries and it is for this reason that we are suffering the way we do.

 I would like to remind you of another ‘great’, Rabindranath Tagore, and I paraphrase when he says :

 We shall thank God that we were made to wait in silence through the night of despair, had to bear the insult of the proud and the strong man’s burden, yet all through it, though our hearts quaked with doubt and fear, never could we blindly believe in the salvation which machinery offered to man, but we held fast to our trust in God and the truth of the human soul.[2]

 I cannot but conclude by inviting you all to remember that what we are doing here today is furthering the cause of humanity as followed by so many great men and women, long past, but revered and remembered in our time.

 In the words of Isaac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

 Peace be upon you!

[1]             From Purdah to Parliament, Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah; OUP Revised and Expanded Edition, 1998; (p.191-2)

 [2]              Nationalism, Sir Rabindranath Tagore, 1918; (p. 46)

  http://www.fourfreedoms.nl/en/the-awards/year:2014/award:freedom-of-worship-award/laureates:hrh-prince-el-hassan-bin-talal-of-jordan.htm 

 

 

 

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal receives Four Freedoms Award Freedom of Worship Medal

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

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News source:
Majlis El Hassan

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal on Saturday was presented with the Roosevelt Foundation Four Freedoms Award Freedom of Worship Medal in Middleburg in the south-west of the Netherlands.

The Medal was presented to HRH by James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of President Roosevelt, in recognition of his longstanding commitment to the improvement of mutual understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds, and enhancing dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews.
HRH was accompanied to the presentation by HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan. Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, HRH Princess Beatrix and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte, also attended the event.

Presenting the Medal to Prince El Hassan, James Roosevelt Jr. said: “Throughout all of [your] efforts you have remained steadfast to your belief that we must enter into a dialogue between ourselves and the other, ‘for we have to comprehend before we move to understanding.’ You have also said that the road to understanding is sometimes long and difficult, but we should not let this discourage us…”

“Your dedication to religious tolerance and the fundamental right of each person to worship God in his own way has helped advance FDR’s Four Freedoms and for this we thank and honour you today.”

Accepting the Medal, Prince El Hassan said: “Pope Francis is visiting the Holy Land almost as we speak. In that Land, Jews, Christians and Muslims have shared heritage from millennia.”

“The Holy Qur’an says ‘we, therefore, provide with one another in doing good works’ (2:148). The road is long. But we cannot afford not to commit ourselves. Where there is faith, there is hope. And I would like to think of a patrimony for all of humanity. None better than Jerusalem which could, and indeed could not, become a centre, not for monologue for the need for dialogue, but for conversation in a civilised framework for disagreement.”

“When will we revisit our texts, heritage and history and when will our neighbor revisit his or her texts, heritage or history so we can speak of developing a shared ethic of human solidarity.”

“I think that it is time to bear in mind that until human dignity is at the centre of the construct of a new humanitarian architecture, it is impossible to think about the stabilization of populations on our planet”

“The correlation between justice, human dignity and sustainability is important. We can only be resilient in as much as we recognise promoting equities both economic and social on the one side and ethical on the other.”

The Four Freedoms Awards are presented each year to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles that President Roosevelt declared in his speech to Congress on 6 January 1941: freedom of speech and expression; freedom of worship; freedom from want; and, freedom from fear.

Picture courtesy of Stanowicki Fotografie

Muslim-Science.Com and MIGHT Launch Task Force on Teaching of Science in the Islamic World

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Kuala Lumpur, 16 May 2014:  Dato Zakri Abdul Hamid, The Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Prof. Nidhal Guessoum of American University of Sharjah, today, launched the Muslim-Science.Com’s Task Force on Teaching of Science in the Islamic World

The Muslim-Science.Com’s Task Force Initiative seeks to jumpstart a dialogue, discourse, and debate on critical issues and big questions at the intersection of science and religion within the Islamic World. In doing so, it also seeks to reclaim the narrative of science within the Islamic Community – a narrative that in the recent years has been imposed from outside rather than created from inside – and hence begin an inside-out process of scientific revival within the Islamic World.

 

“There is simply no conversation or discourse around some of the most critical aspects of science and society within the Islamic World,” says Dr. Athar Osama, the Founding Editor and Publisher or Muslim-Science.Com and the Project Director. “Without addressing these in a critical manner, we will continue to approach science in a piecemeal fashion without really making our mark on its development or fully benefiting from this activity,” he adds.
The Science Teaching Task Force will bring together 10-12 leading and diverse voices from amongst the leading scholars from within the Islamic World in a series of meetings to discuss and debate upon the challenges of teaching science in Universities in the Islamic World. The big question that the Task Force is seeking to address is: Are universities the main culprits in the sorry state of science in the Muslim world? What role(s) should they be playing? 

 

The Task Force is being Chaired by Dato Zakri Abdul Hamid – the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Hosted by The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). Prof. Nidhal Guessoum – Associate Dean at the American University of Sharjah – shall serve as the Coordinator of the Task Force and Dr. Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, CEO of MIGHT as the Co-Convenor. Dr. Michael Reiss of University of London and Dr. Bruce Alberts of University of California at San Francisco – both with stellar credentials in Science Education – shall serve as Expert Resource persons to the Task Force.

 

Dato Zakri Abdul Hamid, the Chair of the Task Force and also the Convenor of Malaysia’s Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) noted that “It is critically important that the Islamic World develops the capability and alternate platforms to critically evaluate its own weaknesses and strengths by bringing together a diverse and disparate group of experts and stakeholders and create a discourse that is driven from inside rather than outside. We hope this Task Force will bring forth a consensus that could lead to policy action across the Islamic World.

 

Professor Nidhal Guessoum, the Task Force’s Convenor, stressed that “It is important that a rigorous and multi-facted review of the teaching of science at Universities in the Muslim World be undertaken by international experts. The relative weakness of our institutions of higher learning, particularly in science, cannot be always attributed to lack of funding or inadequate administrative systems; pedagogy, culture, and other factors need to be investigated. This project is both highly pertinent and timely.”

 

The Task Force shall meet in Kuala Lumpur in the second week of December 2014 to deliberate upon submissions made by Task Force Members, experts, and non-members subsequent to a general call for evidence and agree upon a consensus document and a report that could make recommendations to governments, universities, and other institutions around the Muslim World.

 

Dr. Yusoff Sulaiman, Chief Executive of MIGHT and the host of the Task Force added “it is a great honor for MIGHT to host such luminaries from across the Islamic World and beyond for this fascinating and impactfull dialogue. This will certainly go a long way in our efforts to maintain science as a part of our living culture.”  

 

The Muslim-Science Task Forces Initiative is funded partly by John Templeton Foundation and the Science Education Task Force is brought together with the partnership and support of MIGHT, The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), and the Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM).

 

Attachment: Task Force Launch Poster
Annex: Terms of Reference of Teaching of Science Task Force

 

Contacts:
Dr. Athar Osama
Founding Editor and Publisher, Muslim-Science.Com

 

and Project Director, Muslim-Science.Com Task Forces Initiative

 

Prof. Nidhal Guessoum
Associate Dean, American University of Sharjah
and Convenor, Task Force on Teaching of Science in the Muslim World
t: +971 6 515 2512
Mansurah Raisa Ab Rahim
Media Relations, Group Communications
Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology
Prime Minister’s Department

t: +603 8315 7807

 

 

IAP Statement on Synthetic Biology

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Release Date:
7 May 2014; 19:00 CET

Contact:

Prof. Volker ter Meulen

IAP Co-chair

Email: [email protected]
Peter McGrath
IAP Coordinator

Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Tel: +30 040 2240 571; +39 040 2240 680

 Trieste, Italy, 7 May 2014 – IAP – the global network of science academies – today issued a statement on ‘Realising Global Potential in Synthetic Biology: Scientific Opportunities and Good Governance’.

In the statement, IAP highlights the different areas in which researchers are currently working with synthetic biology – for example, producing less expensive pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals, and next-generation biofuels. In the near future, synthetic biology will likely also find applications in biomedicine, agriculture, land and water decontamination, biosensing, new materials, nano-machines, and even in novel approaches to information processing.

Synthetic biology itself is defined as the deliberate design and construction of customised biological and biochemical systems to perform new or improved functions. It draws on a wide range of disciplines and methodologies to design molecules, construct genetic circuits and assemble simple organisms. Indeed, scientists have recently demonstrated proof-of-principle by ‘building’ a yeast chromosome that remained viable in growing and dividing cells (Nature, 7 March 2014. see: go.nature.com/ktg1ic).

“This IAP Statement builds on the work of IAP member academies and regional networks such as the US National Academy of Science (US NAS) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC),” says IAP co-chair Volker ter Meulen. “Academies have explored key biosafety and other issues relating to the contribution that synthetic biology can make in tackling societal objectives such as in the areas of human health or food and energy security. We have also identified the technical challenges that must be overcome to develop the field, as well as what might prevent us from realizing the potential of synthetic biology.”

One such impediment to the wider uptake of synthetic biology could be its perceived impact on the environment or intentional misuse.

With regards to environmental issues, the IAP Statement calls for institutions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – which will meet in Montreal, Canada, this coming June – to take a balanced and evidence-based view of the potential benefits as well as risks of this new technology.

“It is vital that global policy is not intentionally or inadvertently encouraged to introduce excessively cautious restrictions on synthetic biology that would deter innovation to tackle pressing societal priorities,” confirms IAP’s other co-chair, Mohamed Hassan. “Indeed, one of the recommendations from our Statement is that basic research should be supported, especially among young scientists. And that interdisciplinary centres that include the social sciences and humanities are established that can constantly review the ethics and social issues emerging from research in synthetic biology.”

Other recommendations from the IAP Statement include:

  • The scientific community should engage with the public to clarify ethical and social concerns linked with synthetic biology;
  • Alternative models (e.g. patenting, open source) should be explored for owning and sharing research outputs;
  • Active discussions and debates on how synthetic biology should be regulated should be promoted; and
  • Guidelines for scientific responsibility and codes of conduct in synthetic biology research should also be promoted1.

“IAP, together with its member academies, accepts its responsibility in supporting the various elements to build a global commitment and to encourage collaboration between researchers, those regulating and enabling these technologies, and those who will be users and beneficiaries,” adds Volker ter Meulen. “We must collectively ensure that policy worldwide is sufficiently flexible to encourage research and manage innovation, while advising on sensible practices to mitigate risks.”

In parallel with the release of the statement, a ‘World View’ opinion article is being published in the leading scientific journal, Nature on 7 May authored by Volker ter Meulen.

###

1 IAC and IAP, Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise: A Policy Report (2012): http://www.interacademies.net/10878/19787.aspx

###

Notes for Editors:

• The IAP Statement on ‘Realising Global Potential in Synthetic Biology: Scientific Opportunities and Good Governance’ is available at: http://interacademies.net/10878/Scientific_Opportunities_and_Good_Governance.aspx

Translations into Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portugese and Spanish are also being made available.

• In parallel with the release of the IAP Statement, a ‘World View’ is being published by Nature: www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/509135a

• The Working Group responsible for preparing the IAP Statement ‘Realising Global Potential in Synthetic Biology: Scientific Opportunities and Good Governance’ consisted of:

–            Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) – Prof. Xianen Zhang

–            The Royal Society, UK – Prof. Peter Leadlay

–            Science Council of Japan (SCJ) – Prof. Daisuke Kiga

–            US NAS – Prof. Richard Murray

–            EASAC – Dr. Robin Fears (Working Group chair)

–            Global Young Academy (GYA) – Profs. Borys Wrobel, Marc Creus and Nico Dissmeyer.

• IAP is a global network of 106 of the world’s science academies. Launched in 1993, its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues. The IAP Secretariat is hosted by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), for the advancement of science in developing countries, in Trieste, Italy, and IAP activities are supported by the Government of Italy and by contributions of science academies worldwide. More information about IAP can be found here.

• Through IAP, the world’s science academies have been producing statements since 1994, when they produced their first statement on population growth. Statements since then have covered topics including ocean acidification, biosecurity, sustainable development and deforestation. In November 2013, IAP released a Joint Statement with the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP), ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action’.

Muslim-Science.Com Science Writers Award

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AtharMuslim-Science.Com along with partner institutions Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), CRDF Global (CRDF), John Templeton Foundation (JTF) as well as Khwarzimic Science Society (KSS) and Burraq Planetary Society bring to you Muslim-Science.Com’s Science Writers Award – an Essay Contest geared to identify gifted science communicators from within the Islamic World.

Details are outlined here: http://muslim-science.com/essay-competition/

Muslim-Science.Com and its partners seek to promote a culture of science and scientific inquiry within the Islamic World. Communicating science is a very important part of this aspiration.

Up to $750 in prizes in two categories – Science Writers Award and Young Writers Award – an opportunity to get published, and a possibility of a virtual internship are on offer.

Please help us find these gifted science communicators by circulating this announcement through your respective networks.

 

Muslim-Science.Com Science Writers Award – Detailed Guidelines:

Introduction

Since time immemorial, Muslims have been playing a very progressive part in the field of science and innovation. There were over 20 Muslim Scientists during the Golden Age in history. Scientists such as Al-Khawarizmi, Al-Farabi, Ibn-e-Sina, Al-Biruni, Umar-ibne-Khayam, Al-Ghazali, Ibne-Rushd and Ibne-Khuldum, to name a few, are eminent figures, who have made tremendous contributions to the fields of medicine, astronomy, mathematics, physics, chemistry and so on and so forth.

But what about the contemporary world? Why haven’t Muslims fared well in science in the modern world? What would it take to reinvigorate the curiosity and fascination of science today? What does the future of science in the Muslim World look like?

These questions must form an integral part of a conversation and debate within the Muslim World. This conversation must be inspired, sparked, and carried forward by people – scientists-innovators and those from the broader society – who have the knack and passion for communicating science in a cogent manner. This conversation must begin at home.

Looking for the CARL SAGAN of the MUSLIM WORLD

Muslim-Science.Com is an online journal and portal dedicated to the revival of science and innovation in the Islamic World defined broadly as a geographical construct comprising 57 member countries of the OIC as well as people of OIC-origin living elsewhere in the West. It hopes to do so, by providing its readers and stakeholders in the Islamic World — and to those from the West — with a space for an informed, inspiring, and unbiased dialogue about Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in the Muslim Lands and by Muslims elsewhere, as well as important, but often overlooked, issues at the intersection of science, religion, politics, culture, and society in the Islamic.

The MSC’s Science Writer Award is the first of its kind Global Competition that seeks to encourage, inspire, and engage the creative writers, science communicators, and story tellers amongst us to write to create a discourse about science and innovation in Muslim Societies.

The Suggested Themes for the Essays are the following:

1) Using science to drive innovation: challenges and opportunities
2) Islam and Science: Is a reconciliation possible?
3) The Scientific Future of the Muslim World Shall be Different – Why or Why Not?
4) Societies’ Role in Inspiring Scientific Curiosity and Creativity
5) Why do I study science? (Special Theme for Young Writers)

The above ideas are illustrative of the broad themes and do not have to be the precise topics of the essays. The writers may exercise limited creative license around the above general areas.

Eligibility

The competition is open to all, be it students, leaders, professionals or the general public.

There is no age limit for the competition.

However, there is a special Student Prize to encourage youth participation for students under the age of 16 (High School).

Deadlines

Participants will be given a three month long time period, from 30th March 2014 to 30th June 2014, during which contestants may submit their essays for consideration.

However, all essays received shall be screened and those that score beyond a certain level shall be ‘shortlisted’ as Semi-Finalists and published on Muslim-Science.Com on a rolling basis.

An Internal jury will select the Top-10 entries out of these published essays which will then be judged by an External Jury for the two Top Prizes.

Prizes

MSC will give away prizes for the following:

i. The Muslim-Science.Com Science Writers Award – a cash prize of $500 for the best submission of the competition
ii. The Muslim-Science.Com Young Writers Award– a cash prize of $250 for the best submission by a student (the individual needs to be an enrolled student under the age of 16 at the time of submission of the essay )
iii. All Semi Finalists shall receive a Certificate of Participation by e-mail signed by Muslim-Science.Com
iv. The shortlisted student candidates will be given the chance to do a virtual internship (unpaid) with Muslim-Science.com for up to 3 months.

Rules

1. Participants must prepare and submit one written submission in order to take part in the competition.

2. Only one submission will be accepted per participant.

3. The Written submissions may be submitted by email ([email protected]) or uploaded on the relevant section of Muslim-Science.Com (here).

4. Only original essays will be considered for the competition. However, previously published essays will be invalid. By submitting an essay, the writers grant Muslim-Science.Com the authority to publish the essay if selected and certify that the work is original and not plagiarized or previously published. Essays found to be plagiarized shall not be disqualified and not eligible for the contest.

5. The essay shall be no longer than 750-1000 words (max.)

6. A catchy but relevant title is to be given to the essay. However, Editors of Muslim-Science.Com reserve the right to modify the title before publishing, if necessary.

7. References must be given, wherever required.

8. The writer(s) may provide one or more relevant visual to go with the essay. The Editors of the Muslim-Science.Com reserve the right to use these visuals or use alternate visuals, if required.

9. Those competing in the ‘Young Writers (Student) Category’ must clearly identify themselves as a student and furnish the proof of their age.

10. Each essay must clearly state the name, email address, telephone contact, address, and the institutional affiliation, if any.



Athar Osama, PhD (Public Policy – The RAND Graduate School)
Young Global Leader (YGL ’13) – World Economic Forum (WEF) &
Fellow ’11 – World Technology Network (WTN)

Founding Partner, Technomics International Ltd.
Founder and CEO, Pakistan Innovation Foundation

Email: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]
Tel: +44 1483 901916, +44 7711 198092 and +92 305 2266810

WGII AR5 Final Drafts

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

 

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The Final Draft Report, dated 28 October 2013, of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2014:Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnera ability was accepted but not approved in detail by the 10th Session of Working Group II and the 38th Session of the IPCC on 29 March 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. It consists of the full scientific and technical assessment undertaken by Working Group II.

The Final Draft Report has to be read in conjunction with the document entitled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report — Changes to the Underlying Scientific/Technical Assessment” to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers (IPCC-XXXVIII/DOC.4) presented to the Panel at its 38th Session. This document lists the changes necessary to ensure consistency between the full Report and the Summary for Policymakers, which was approved line-by-line by Working Group II and accepted by the Panel at the above-mentioned Sessions. A listing of substantive edits additionally indicates corrections of errors for the Final Draft Report.

http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/

New IAS Publication

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

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Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development in the Islamic World: The Policies and Politics Rapprochement

 

Today, there are many issues plaguing the world, foremost among which are global poverty and environmental degradation, which are interlinked to sustainable development. A new international mindset is required that enables us as nations, acting collectively, to address such issues: to help the poorest countries to develop and to promote a fairer allocation of wealth and opportunity. We also need a new international consensus to protect our environment and combat the devastating impacts of climate change.

 

Aware of such realities, the IAS has decided to convene a multi-theme conference in the city of Kazan in Russia at the invitation of the President of Tatarstan to address such scientific themes and re-establish harmony between scientists, the decision-making community and the public, particularly in the domain of the environment. This is a particularly relevant issue for countries of the South, where many decision-makers have not seen the ‘light of science,’ in their quest to realise sustainable development. The conference also aimed to raise some questions on the storyline of Islamic science in the Islamic civilisation, and the relationship between science and the media.

 

This book includes the majority of the ‘thought-provoking’ papers that were presented at the 16th IAS Conference, which was held in Kazan (Tatarstan/Russia), during August 2008. A conference in which over 200 participants including IAS Fellows and invited speakers from outside Russia, academics, decision-makers, scientists, researchers as well as presidents/representatives of academies of sciences from all over the world, took part.

 

Copies available at US$30.00 inclusive of p&p from [email protected]