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Honouring Ameena: IAS Fellow awarded DSc from the Universite Pierre and Marie Curie of the Sorbonne; Paris, 13 November, 2013

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UPM_5402 (2)IAS Fellow Prof. Ameena Gurib-Fakim has recently been awarded a DSc from the Universite Pierre and Marie Curie of the Sorbonne, Paris. 

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim graduated from the University of Surrey in 1983 with a BSc in Chemistry then with a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Exeter in the UK in 1987. She joined the University of Mauritius as a lecturer in 1987 and now she holds a personal chair in Organic chemistry. She also worked at the Mauritius Research Council in Mauritius as Manager for Research and Development and has been Dean of the Faculty of Science and is presently the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the UoM.

In the course of her career, she ran many projects funded by international agencies such as the UN, European Union, Canadian International Development Agency amongst others. She has participated in the recent Agricultural assessment spearheaded by the World Bank. She is Advisor to the International Foundation for Science in Sweden and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of IPICS, Uppsala Univ., Sweden; member of the Expert Panel of the Special Programme of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO on ‘Infectious diseases’. She is also the founding member and Chairperson of the African Association of Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS) and is co-editing the first African Pharmacopeia slated for 2010.

Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London and of the World Islamic Academy of Science in Jordan, she won the l’Oreal-Unesco Prize for Women in Science for Africa in 2007, the National Economic and Social Council Prize for Mauritius in 2007 as well as the Special Prize of the CTA/NEPAD/AGRA/RUFORUM for ‘African Women in Science’ April 09 and the African Union Award for ‘Women in Science’ for the Eastern African Region in September 2009.

She has been elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean by the Government of Mauritius in 2008 and to the Order of the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques’ by the Government of France in 2009.

Prof. Gurib-Fakim was elected as a Fellow of the IAS in 2009.

Mahathir and Khatami call for an end to Sunni-Shi’a violence

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A Joint Appeal To Sunnis And Shi’as – OpEd

Originally published in the Eurasia Review

By S. Muhammad Khatami and Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

We, the undersigned, are greatly saddened by the violence and bloodshed which have characterised Sunni-Shi’a relations over time. Thousands have been killed in feuds between the two, mostly in certain Muslim countries. It is tragic that many innocent women and children have been among the victims.

Sunni-Shi’a animosity and antagonism have clearly weakened the Muslim ummah. It has made us more vulnerable to the manipulations and machinations of outside elements determined to subvert the unity and integrity of the ummah. It has allowed those who seek to establish their hegemonic power over us to succeed in their objectives.

It is indisputable that Sunni-Shi’a antagonism and conflicts which have resulted in massacres have tarnished the image and dignity of the ummah in the eyes of the world. Few other occurences in recent times have had such a negative impact.

We appeal to all Sunnis and Shi’as, bound as we are by the same faith in Allah, guided by the same Noble Quran, honouring the same last Messenger of Allah, and facing the same Kiblah, to desist from massacring and killing one another immediately.

NO MORE VIOLENCE
NO MORE BLOODSHED
NO MORE KILLINGS

The two of us – a former Prime Minister from a Sunni majority state, and a former President from an overwhelmingly Shi’a nation – also address this appeal to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which represents all Muslims of whatever sect or doctrine. The OIC could perhaps set up a task force that will examine the Sunni-Shi’a divide in depth and submit concrete proposals for the political and religious leaders of the ummah to act upon.

We also appeal to sincere, concerned individuals and civil society groups from all over the world to join in this endeavour to stop the violence and bloodshed and to promote peace and understanding between Sunnis and Shi’as.

This joint appeal will be widely circulated mainly through the online media. We shall follow up on this appeal with other activities and programmes.

May Allah Subhanahuwataala guide us in all our humble efforts to serve Him.

S. Muhammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic Of Iran (1997-2005)

Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, (1981-2003)

IAS Founding Patron Prince Hassan honoured

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AMMAN — HRH Prince Hassan and French journalist Jean Daniel received the Averroes Prize in Morocco on Saturday.

The prize is awarded to Mediterranean figures whose work and actions are in line with the teachings and philosophy of Averroes (Ibn Rushd in Arabic), the renowned Moroccan Andalusian thinker.

The award ceremony took place in the presence of King Mohammed VI of Morocco and other senior officials and diplomats, according to a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The Averroes prize rewards two contemporary thinkers, one from a northern and one from a southern Mediterranean country in recognition of their contribution to developing a new humanism for the 21st century in the Mediterranean and beyond.

During the ceremony, Prince Hassan said Averroes was a bridge between the East and the West, adding that the award is a call to promote dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The prince called for “a new moral charter” for improved relations between civilisations, religions and cultures.

He also highlighted the importance of dialogue among followers of various faiths, relying on common grounds rather than differences, which also need to be respected, according to the statement.

For his part, Daniel, founder and executive editor of Le Nouvel Observateur weekly, described Averroes as a free man and a humanist who marked his period by his philosophy and thinking which constituted bridges for dialogue between the East and West, according to the statement.

The award is co-sponsored by Cadi Ayyad University in Morocco, Cordoba University in Spain and Italy’s Mediterranean observatory.

IAS Endorses IAMP Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance

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IAP&IAMPCALLFORACTION18Nov2013_Page_1Trieste, Italy, 18 November 2013 – IAP – The Global Network of Science Academies, and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) today issued a Joint Statement on ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action’.

In the Joint Statement <<http://www.interacademies.net/IAP_IAMP_Nov2013.aspx>>, IAP and IAMP highlight the critical role that antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic) drugs play in today’s medical practices, but also that there have been dramatic increases in the number of pathogens developing resistance to these drugs.

“The global pandemic of antibiotic resistance in both community care and hospital-associated infections represents a major health and economic burden and this crisis is being exacerbated by a relative lack of innovation in generating new antibiotics,” says the Joint Statement, warning that: “We are in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic era.”

If the current major public health problem of antimicrobial resistance is to be reduced, and if a much worse crisis is to be averted, IAP and IAMP propose a series of 10 recommendations.

Among the recommendations are a call for immediate action to include the issue of antimicrobial resistance in the global sustainable development agenda; the promotion of integrated world-wide surveillance systems that should include both human and animal diseases (so-called “one-health”); education programmes for the prudent use of antimicrobials for medical and veterinary professionals, as well as for patients and the wider public; and the need for additional research – including building research capacity in developing countries, with the aims of better understanding the determinants of resistance and of devising new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.

On the release of the Joint Statement, IAP Co-Chairs Professor Mohamed Hassan (Sudan) and Professor Volker ter Meulen (Germany) commented: “Over the past few years, academies of science have compiled a broad range of recommendations for policy development to combat the ever-increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance. By joining with the InterAcademy Medical Panel and releasing this statement, we hope to raise the visibility of these recommendations, bringing them to the attention of policy-makers worldwide so that appropriate action is taken.”

Prof. Lai-Meng Looi of the Akademi Sains Malaysia and Co-Chair of IAMP, said: “As a practicing medical pathologist, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects that drug-resistant bacteria and other pathogens can have on patients, and how doctors and health-care practitioners have restricted choices in how they treat certain conditions. This statement should serve as a wake-up call to the global community that the current situation is not sustainable.”

Prof. Detlev Ganten, President World Health Summit Charité Berlin, chair of the board, Charité Foundation, and also Co-Chair of IAMP, added: “As a society, we are coming round to the concept of “one-health”, whereby we take a holistic view of human and veterinary medicine as a single, inter-connected system. The misuse of antibiotics in agriculture and the need for surveillance systems around the world, especially in developing countries, are just two of the issues that we need to address urgently, and which are among those highlighted in this Joint Statement.”

In parallel with the release of the Joint IAP-IAMP Statement, a Commentary is being published by The Lancet Global Health: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70086-X/abstract

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The Joint IAP-IAMP Statement is available on the IAP website. Translations into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be available shortly.

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IAS publishes 'Les découvertes en pays d'Islam:' Arabic Edition

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Document (321)The IAS published the Arabic-language version of the book ‘Les decouvertes en pays d’Islam.’ The English-language version of the book was earlier published by the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation under the Auspices of UNESCO (ISTIC) to disseminate knowledge on the scientific achievements of Islamic countries especially during the Golden Age of Islam. For details, contact IAS
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  • Author: Ahmed Djebbar (ISBN: 978-9957-412-23-4).
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Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) convened its 19th international science conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during 6-9 May 2013

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Pic- page 1Under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) convened its 19th international science conference in Dhaka, the capital of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, during 6-9 May 2013. The theme of the conference was ‘Achieving Socioeconomic Development in the Islamic World through Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).’

     Held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, the IAS Conference was an open activity in which over 200 local and international participants representing over 40 countries participated. Among the participants were Fellows of the IAS, local scientists from the various universities, young university students, expatriate Bangladeshi scientists as well as representatives of Asian, African and Western academies of sciences. Prior to the conference, the 20th Meeting of the General Assembly of the IAS as well as the 39th Meeting of the IAS Council were arranged.

The 19th IAS Conference was organised and sponsored by:

  •  Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), Amman, Jordan;
  • Prime Ministry of Bangladesh;
  • Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh;
  • University Grants Commission of Bangladesh; and
  • Bangladesh Academy of Sciences.

It w as co-sponsored by:

  • OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Vienna, Austria;
  • Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;
  • Ministry of Science and Technology of Bangladesh;
  • OIC Ministerial Committee on Scientific and Technological Co-operation (COMSTECH), Islamabad, Pakistan;
  • Arab Potash Company, Amman, Jordan;
  • Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Dhaka, Bangladesh; and
  • Bangladesh University of Health Science (BUHS), Dhaka, Bangladesh

The conference addressed a number of key issues in the domain of science, technology and innovation (STI) for development, and represented an attempt by the IAS to engage the Bangladeshi decision-making and science communities and draw possible lessons from the Bangladesh experience that could be of benefit to the wider community of OIC-Member States.

      Bangladesh, which is among the most populous of OIC countries, is a country that is regularly affected by natural disasters. Yet, it is a country that has managed to develop the capacity to mitigate and manage natural phenomena effectively, and achieve a respectable level of food security for its vast population.

      As a result of some obvious strengths in certain export-oriented industrial sectors, it has also managed to maintain high economic growth. And although there is limited interaction between public and private-sector actors and little university–industry collaboration, the country’s ingenuity manifests itself in light engineering where it is producing import-substitution products that are creating employment and alleviating poverty. Endogenous technologies include those related to ferries, power plants, machinery and spare parts.

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      Bangladesh is also developing the high-tech sector of pharmaceuticals, and is almost 97% self sufficient in pharmaceuticals. To get first-hand experience of this particular sector, the conference participants visited one of the leading pharmaceutical companies of the country; Incepta Pharmaceuticals.

The above factors rendered Bangladesh a special case-study for the IAS and the OIC science community.

The objectives of the 19th IAS Conference thus were: (a)   To discuss the key areas of public health and higher education in Bangladesh to draw possible lessons relevant to other OIC countries, while showcasing some of the country’s key S&T sectors; (b)   To analyse how science and technology can contribute to addressing real challenges in the domains of water and energy in populous underdeveloped countries, and analyse how linkages between the private sector and the science community in general may be strengthened; and

(c)   To review cases where research in the frontier areas of biotechnology and information technology could be transformed into commercial ventures.

 The conference which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on Monday 6 May 2013, was preceded on Sunday 5 May 2013, by a ceremony, which was organised on the premises of the Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), to honour one of the Founding Fellows of the IAS from Bangladesh: Prof. Mohammad Ibrahim (1911-1989). During the ceremony, Prof. Liaquat Ali, an outstanding Bangladeshi medical researcher, was honoured as the recipient of the 2013 IAS Ibrahim Memorial Award.

The inaugural ceremony of the conference included an address by H E Mrs Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh; a speech by H E Dr Mrs Dipu Moni, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh; an address by H E Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC); the message of Prince El-Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Founding Patron of the IAS, which was read by Dr Adnan Badran; the message of the President of Pakistan, IAS Patron, which was read by Dr M A Mahesar, Assistant Co-ordinator General, COMSTECH; and the opening address of Dr Abdel Salam Majali, former Prime Minister of Jordan and IAS President. The Chairman of the Bangladesh Universities Grants Commission, Prof. A K Azad Chowdhury; and Prof. A A Azad FIAS, IAS Fellow from Bangladesh who was the main local organiser of the event; also spoke during the session which was concluded with some closing remarks by H E Yeafesh Osman, State Minister of Science and Technology, Bangladesh.

 The conference was divided into a number of main sessions: Thematic Keynotes, Excellence in Higher Education, Energy for the Future, Public Health, Drugs and Vaccines for the Future, Climate Change and the Environment, Rethinking Sustainable Development, Collaborative Research Case-Studies; as well as a panel discussion which was entitled ‘Way Forward and Funding Strategies for the Future.’

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Tan Sri Omar's new book

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 Prof. Omar Abdul Rahman FIAS (Malaysia), is a BVSc from Sydney University, Australia and a PhD from Cambridge University, United

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 Kingdom. He is the Founding President and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, the Founding and current Chairman

of CPTM Ltd, the Founding Joint Chairman of MIGHT and the Coordinator of the STI Policy Unit of the UNESCO-Malaysia International STI Centre (ISTIC). He was Science Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia, from July 1984 to Jan 2001. His career b

Omar’s new book ‘The Essentials of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy,’ is an important reference on the subject written by an outstanding scientist who has been the architect of Malaysia’s STI success since the 1980segan as a research officer in the VRI, Ipoh in 1960. He was appointed professor and founding Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science at the Universiti Pertanian Malaysia in 1972, and became Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs in 1982. Tan Sri Omar is Emeritus Professor of UPM, a founding Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

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IAS convenes its 2012 special symposium in Astana, Kazakhstan‏

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KZK_6088 - CopyUnder the patronage of His Excellency the President of Kazakhstan, and upon the invitation of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science, the IAS convened a special symposium in Astana (Kazakhstan) during 22-23 May 2012, under the title ‘Science and Technology in Kazakhstan and the Islamic World: Past, Present and Future.

View Symposium declaration