PH to host ASEAN Science Ministers meeting

MANILA The Philippines will host the ASEAN Science Ministers meeting in Cebu City on Oct. 15-19.

"There are many concerns in the region. Concerns on sustainable development goals, food security, energy security, environment, health, educating our young people, among others, that can be addressed by science and technology," Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela PeAa told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday afternoon.

Dela PeAa is set to tackle several agenda. Among these are the establishment of the ASEAN Young Scientists Network and the establishment of the ASEAN Foresight Alliance.

He said the Young Scientists Network sounds new to him. The Foresight Alliance, on the other hand, will be a forecasting group, where forecasting will be enhanced through the collaboration of experts in the region.

"We will look at the status of the ASEAN Declaration on Innovation. This is an initiative of DOST since last year. We (Science ministers) still have to talk about it," he said.

The DOST will also initiate a review of the first three years of implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).

"The plan is for 2016-2025. We will review its first three years of its implementation, or from 2016-2018," dela PeAa said.

During the meeting, the ministers will identify the Center of Excellence, which dela PeAa said is a center for research and development (R and D).

"Having a Center of Excellence will help boost collaboration among different countries," he noted.

Also on the agenda is the ASEAN Diagnostics Development Initiative. This is something new, and will tackle about medical diagnostics, dela PeAa said.

This, he said, is an initiative of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, which previously focused on drug discovery.

Finally, the ASEAN ministers will meet to have a hub on STI for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.

"I hope these things will all be cleared during the meeting, so we could have or implement these soon," he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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