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The Mission of COMSATS entails bringing about sustainable socio-economic development in the South, through building capacities in, and making judicious use of, science and technology applications, by instituting South-South and
North-South collaborations and exchange. As extracted from the International Agreement of the Commission, the Mission of COMSATS has been translated into the following objectives:
- To sensitize the countries in the South to the centrality of science and technology in the development process, to the adequate allocation of resources for research and development, and to the integration of science and technology in the national and regional development plans;
- To support the establishment of a Network of International Science and Technology Centres for Sustainable Development in the South;
- To support other major initiatives, designed to promote indigenous capacity in science and technology for science-led sustainable development, and to help mobilize long-term financial support from international donor-agencies and from Governments / Institutions in the North and the South, to supplement the financing of international scientific projects in the South;
- To provide leadership and support for major 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;
- To support the relevant programmes and initiatives of major scientific organizations working for the development and promotion of science and technology in the South.
The foundation-conference of COMSATS that was held at Islamabad on 4th & 5th October, 1994, attracted representation from thirty-six countries. The participants included twenty-two Ministers, members of the diplomatic community of Islamabad and representatives of international organizations, like UNESCO, UNIDO, UNEP, and the World Bank. The conference decided that the Headquarters / Secretariat of the Commission would be based permanently at Islamabad, Pakistan, and the Head of State of Pakistan would act as the first Chairperson of the forum. It was agreed that the host-government, Pakistan, would provide for the operational and administrative expenses of the Secretariat, while the development programmes of the Commission would be supported and financed through Technical Assistance Fund, formed of membership-contributions, income from services, and international grants/project-funds.