The Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, reaffirmed that the Organization has managed to turn the ordeal of the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to assert its pioneering role among international organizations while carrying out its quality action and strategic standards. To this effect, Dr. AlMalik said that ICESCO had upgraded its action mechanisms in such a way as to keep pace with the rising challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and set up projects designed to support the Member States in addressing the repercussions of the pandemic.
This came as part of his address at the Virtual Meeting of National Commissions for ICESCO, kicked off today under the theme “Post-COVID-19 world: what action priorities and procedures for education, science and culture?”.
The meeting brought together the guests of honor, Princess Doaa bint Mohammad Ezzat, Supreme President of the Arab Women Foundation, UN Peace Ambassador; and the renowned scientist Professor Rachid Yazami, inventor of the lithium-ion battery, in addition to the secretaries of National Commissions for education, science and culture from 56 countries inside and outside the Islamic world, and a select of experts in education, science and culture.
In his address, ICESCO Director-General stressed that the question “what is next after COVID-19?” is at the core of ICESCO’s concerns and priorities and that the meeting is opportunity to share expertise, experiences and successful practices and meets the expectations of Member States to move from crisis management to future anticipation. He also expressed his confidence that National Commissions, as a strategic partner, will contribute to supporting our orientations to draw the dimensions and trends defining projects and programmes sensitive to needs after COVID-19 crisis.
In this vein, he pointed out that ICESCO is currently preparing a charter to regulate its relationship with National Commissions, adding thanks to the 30 contracts signed with a large number of Member States benefiting from the Organization’s support activities in many sectors.
Dr. AlMalik listed the pioneering, practical initiatives launched by ICESCO since the beginning of the crisis, namely the “ICESCO International Prize” to reward the discovery of a vaccine or treatment against COVID-19 and “ICESCO Digital Home,” a knowledge-based educational, cultural and scientific platform, along with the programmes of Arabic language for non-Arabic speakers and the African languages in the Arabic script. He also mentioned the “Comprehensive Humanitarian Coalition,” which was widely welcomed by many countries and donors and which is open to membership, and the “Societies We Want” Initiative.
Moreover, ICESCO Director-General stated that ICESCO held virtual conferences on topics spanning its fields of competence, as well as foresight and AI, and is now preparing for more events in the future, adding that the two recent virtual conferences of education and culture ministers bear witness of the success of our new approach while noting that the Organization is currently preparing a set of foresight studies in contribution to strategic studies approach.
“The efforts and initiatives made by ICESCO will not attain their desired outcomes without your support and dedicated action toward the achievement of our objectives and our vision to crown our efforts with success for the benefit of our peoples who always expect new achievements,” Dr. AlMalik concluded.