|The President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia making his opening remarks at the Science for Peace Discourse|
A few of the participants representing various organisations at the Discourse
Wednesday March 13, 2013 at Hilton Hotel, KL Central, Kuala Lumpur with two panel members to speak on the topic. In his opening remark, the President of ASM indicated that the Academy accepted this initiative of one of its illustrious Senior Fellows, Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Ahmad Mustaffa Babjee and an international Conference on it is being planned scheduled to take place in 2015 and that this discourse is a preliminary to get more insights on what are some of the relevant issues on this topic - Science for Peace. Dr. Ahmad Mustaffa was the first speaker in the panel discussion. Dr. Mustaffa was a former Director-General of the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia and served for a period in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is active in many community organisations especially the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. The second panelist was Dr. Rita Colwell, U.S Presidential Science Envoy. Dr. Colwell is a Distinguished Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests are in the areas of infectious diseases, water and health Her international experiences include serving in advisory positions in non-profit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as the international scientific research community. She has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 750 scientific publications.
Dr. Ahmad Mustaffa in his presentation highlighted that science has its black history as it is associated with the atomic bomb and calamities linked with nuclear power and the many wars attributed to socio-economic, tribal, sectarian, bilateral etc. Accordingly, science has to redeem itself and Science and Technology must be harnessed towards peace to save our planet. The objectives of the campaign Science for Peace are:
a. to place greater emphasis on the application of S&T to find solutions to peace
b. to encourage scientists to practice positive values
c. to undertake research that are scientifically evaluated for sustainability
According to Dr. Ahmad Mustaffa, Malaysia has been involved in peace keeping efforts. It has sent peace keeping forces to the Congo during the civil war there; organised international conference to criminalise war; has made peace efforts on the Arab-Israeli conflict; has sent missions to help the Arabs in Gaza; has highlighted the plight of the Bosnians during the Serbian- Bosnian conflict.
In her short delivery, Dr. Colwell supported this effort of utilising science for peace. She felt that conflicts and wars could be avoided if the basic needs of the people are met. Such basic needs include food, education, good health and free from diseases, availabilty of resources such as water and energy. She has given the undertaking to promote the international conference on Science for Peace, scheduled for2015.