Access to Science & Technology a Universal Right

Access to Science & Technology a Universal Right Access to Science & Technology a Universal Right

President Hassan Rouhani stressed the need for scientific and technological alliance among the NAM member states to hasten development and economic welfare, which he said, would serve the ultimate goal of ‘’peace and equality’’ among all nations – whether big or small.

The president was addressing the first meeting of science ministers of Non-Aligned Movement Countries (NAM), which opened in Tehran on Sunday with ministers from 31 nations conferring to boost ties and enhance the movement’s science and technology policies.

Rouhani as the current rotating president of the Non-Aligned Movement, proposed the creation of a permanent center for scientific and technological cooperation with headquarters in Tehran, the president’s official website reported.

He said the center would lay a framework for member states to enhance scientific ties and at the same time stay connected with the developed nations who are at the forefront of technological advancements. The president made the case that “this multilateral partnership would reduce the gap between the developed and underdeveloped nations and would also create a better world for the people.”   

Sciences are the common heritage of mankind and as the advancement of knowledge does not recognize boundaries, its transfer and dissemination also does not recognize political borders, Rouhani said. He emphasized the equal access of nations to science and technology, saying it is a ‘’fundamental human right whose blessings will penetrate all borders.”

  Scientific Discrimination

Rouhani criticized the unfair and unequal access of nations to scientific and technological knowledge, perpetrated by what he called ‘’scientific discrimination’’ which he considered a sign of the modern world’s quest for supremacy. He added: ‘’Scientific discrimination has turned into a tool for retaining the cycle of poverty and unemployment in developing nations and therefore it is imperative that independent nations resist such a trend that no longer belongs to our time.’’   

The Chief Executive traced the rampant poverty and unemployment in developing nations to an inefficient global political and economic order which in turn breeds violence, extremism, hampers sustained growth the world over and disrupts the creation of science-oriented societies. ‘’NAM member states can find common ground on joint scientific ventures without being blinded by idealistic ambitions,’’ Rouhani said.

  Senseless Pressure

Rouhani also addressed Iran’s nuclear issue, saying despite the fact the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program is unmistakable, senseless pressure still persists on Iran. ‘’My people have endured the harshest stress and strain during the past 12 years for the sole purpose of pursuing their right to nuclear technology.’’  

“There is great scientific potential within NAM member states which can be shared but to realize this potential in a way to touch people’s everyday lives, there is need for an affinity between sciences, economy and industries so they will generate jobs and enhance social welfare,’’ he observed.

The president referred to the scientific advancements of Iran, saying the country ranks 16th in the publication of scientific essays. He also pointed to giant scientific projects launched in the country including manufacturing satellites and supercomputers, the major breakthroughs in nanotechnology and obtaining the know-how to make medicines, which are exclusive only to a handful of nations.

The meeting, hosted by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, will continue until Tuesday.