May 30, 2016 — Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, the Prime Minister’s Science Adviser and Joint Chairman of MIGHT, had been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the prestigious Governing Council of a planned UN Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries.
The “Technology Bank” is an outcome of a UN General Assembly Resolution, which requested the Secretary-General to launch and operationalize a science, technology and innovation support mechanism for the least developed countries.
The institutional template of the Technology Bank is the Tokyo-Based UN University, where Zakri served for eight years as Director of the UNU Institute for Advanced Studies.
A dedicated trust fund has also been established to support the preparatory phase of the Technology Bank.
The Governing Council will help the Secretary-General undertake the necessary steps to operationalize the Technology Bank; in particular it will formulate principles and policies governing its activities and operations and prepare its Charter for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly.
Professor Mohamed H.A. Hassan (Sudan), President of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and former Chairman of the Council of the United Nations University will serve as Chair of the Governing Council.
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya (Nepal), Under Secretary-General and High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States will be the Secretary-General’s representative in the Council, serving as vice-chair.
In addition to Zakri, Mr. Abdoulaye Yero Balde, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Guinea will be part of the Governing Council, along with nine others representing UN Member States, industry leaders and academics.
The Technology Bank idea originated in the 2011 Istanbul Programme of Action and was confirmed in both the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda and in Sustainable Development Goal 17. The Government of Turkey generously offered to host the Technology Bank in Gebze, Turkey.
Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils
In another development, the Washington, D.C.-based Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC), has appointed Zakri as a Distinguished Fellow in recognition of his exemplary public service and expertise on matters affecting global competitiveness, science and sustainability.
The GFCC is a global network of 30 competitiveness councils and economic/business development organizations representing countries from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
In this role, Zakri is expected to be a strategic adviser to help guide the GFCC’s initiatives. Zakri received his appointment letter from the Honourable Ms. Deborah L. Wince-Smith, GFCC President on the sidelines of the sixth meeting of the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council, chaired by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak in London on May 17.
MIGHT Senior Adviser, Academician Dato’ Lee Yee Cheong also received his appointment letter as GFCC Distinguished Fellow at the same occasion.
Global Research Council
In another unprecedented event, Zakri was elected as a member of the Governing Board of the Global Research Council, representing the Asia-Pacific region. The election took place during the Council’s annual meeting in New Delhi on May 25.
Founded in 2012, the Global Research Council is a virtual organization comprised of the heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world, and is dedicated to promoting the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration among funding agencies worldwide.
The worldwide growth of public support for research has presented an opportunity for countries large and small to work in concert across national borders. Cooperation and collaboration can enhance the quality of science, avoid unnecessary duplication, provide economies of scale, and address issues that can only be solved by working together. Heads of research funding agencies have a responsibility to meet these objectives on behalf of the research community.
MIGHT President and CEO, Datuk Dr Yusoff Sulaiman, in heralding Zakri’s recent appointments highlights the high accord and respect that the international community has on him. “We at MIGHT are proud of Tan Sri Zakri’s numerous achievements and he is a source of inspiration for young Malaysians.”
Zakri expressed his appreciation for these appointments, adding that they reflect Malaysia’s high standing in the eyes of the world.
“In particular, it is a tribute to the leadership of Prime Minister Najib for leading the socio-economic success of this country through science, technology and innovation, among other tools in his National Transformation Programme.”
Zakri, who also serves as a member of the Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board, added that he would follow-up in Malaysia by setting up a National Task Force to link the Global Research Council with the National Science Council and to prepare for Malaysia to host the GRC Asia-Pacific regional meeting in December.
The task force will be headed by Senior Professor Dato’ Khalid Yusoff, President of UCSI University who played a pivotal role in the GRC meeting in New Delhi.
Simultaneously, through MIGHT, he will explore the prospects of forging a strong link between Malaysia and the GFCC