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Unesco: Malaysia on right track to attain developed-nation status

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's commitment and clear policy to drive science, technology and innovation has put the country on the right track to achieve developed-nation status, said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) today.

Its diretor-general Dr Irina Bokova said Malaysia's commitment to developing science, technology and innovation as an enabler towards attaining developed- nation status was being recognised by Unesco.

Citing the Vision 2020 and the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025, Bokova said that science, technology and innovation had been prominently outlined as a key enabler to achieve the goals.

"Malaysia is one of the countries in the Asian region that is highly investing in science, technology and scientific research. Over the years, there has been a growing number of science and technology research centres and universities in the country. This is not by chance but demostrates the serious efforts of the country to develop the sector.

"And this puts it in a very good position for further achievements," she told reporters after opening the International, Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC)'s 5th anniversary conference, here.

ISTIC was set up under the auspices of Unesco, aimed at providing scientists, technologists and innovators, as well as policy-makers from countries in the South with training in specified areas, so as to improve their capacity in managing science, technology and innovation systems.

Themed "ISTIC: A Role Model For South-South Cooperation Through STI", the conference focuses on four areas including the needs of high and green technology industries in developing countries, and inquiry-based science education (IBSE) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programmes in developing countries.

Earlier, in her keynote address, Bokova urged players in science, technology and innovation to constantly craft new approaches to address the challenges faced such as in climate change mitigation, food and water security, energy and security as well as managing natural and man-made disasters.

She noted that science, technology and innovation had become more vital in today's changing landscape and this was evident in Unesco's 2010 reports which showed that more countries were investing in this sector while more research centres related to science, technology and innovation development had emerged.

Bokova said Istic could take a more proactive role to bridge the disparities of science, technology and innovation among developed and developing countries as well as within a country.

Also present at the conference were Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah and chairman of the ISTIC governing board, Datuk Dr Lee Yee Cheong.

About 200 participants from 40 countries are attending the three-day conference.


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