The First Symposium of the Rectors of ECO Member States Universities held virtually on 4 March, 2021. The Symposium was organized by the ECO Cultural Institute in collaboration with Allameh Tabataba’i University.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, in the Symposium, attended by rectors of universities from the ten ECO Member States: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the participants discussed ways to launch the ECO University Network to enhanced regional cooperation in the field of education.
In the international event, Rector of Allameh Tabataba’i University, President of the ECO Cultural Institute, Secretary General of the ECO Economic Cooperation Organization, President of the ECO College of Insurance, President of the ECO Scientific Foundation, President of the ECO Educational Institute and President of Dezful Jundishapur University exchanged views in order to meet the challenges of the contemporary world in the field of education and research.
In his welcoming speech in the inaugural session of the Symposium, Sarvar Bakhti, the President of the ECO Cultural Institute, congratulated the participation of rectors from all ECO member states universities in the symposium and called it promising for joint regional cooperation and a bright future of advancements in science and culture of the people in the region and a rapid movement toward sustainable development.
In his remarks he added: “University students as the main resources can play an important role in scientific and cultural development in the ECI region.”
Sarvar Bakhti also stated: “It is our duty to take a humane and scientific approach to benefit from these scientific and intellectual capacities more than before through careful and measured planning. In all decisions, we must pay attention to this important fact that students are the main factor in the existence and the development of universities and the scientific advancements of the country, the region and the world. Universities should be recognized as a model for sustainable development.”
He continued: “Uuniversities, besides producing knowledge, should design and present mechanisms suitable for solving production, industrial, economic, social, and cultural problems of societies to achieve sustainable development. The ECO Cultural Institute has been established with the aim of strengthening and promoting close cooperation between the peoples in the region and establishing a communication network between cultural centers, universities, libraries, and museums in order to protect the rich cultural heritage of the region.”
Sarvar Bakhti also noted: “The ECO Cultural Institute welcomes such initiatives as this event in order to further promote cooperation between universities of the ECO region and provide the necessary platform for expanding cooperation in various fields of education, scholarships, workshops, courses, short and long-term educational programs, exchange of experiences, expertise and information in different cultural fields, joint research projects, exchange of professors and students, joint projects in various fields, such as the restoration of historical buildings and manuscripts, holding exhibitions and cultural weeks, traditional music, and other related disciplines.”
It is worth mentioning that during the event, the rectors of more than twenty universities in the ECO region gave separate speeches, referring to the historical and cultural ties between the societies of this civilization and the history of scientific ties and valuable treasures of the works of common scientists in this region, including Ibn Sina, Biruni, Kharazmi, and other renowned personalities, emphasizing the need for links between science and technology centers in order to achieve regional development.
Also, in the final statement, the participating universities announced their approval to launch an ECO University Network to use the capacity of cyberspace to collaborate between professors, students, and researchers at the regional level.
The Representative of the Organization of Islamic Culture and Communication, which participated in the meeting, announced that Iran’s Cultural Attachés in the ECO countries are ready for any cooperation to expand and strengthen scientific ties between intellectual and cultural elites with their counterparts in the region.
At the end of this international gathering, the Nowruz special issue of the ECO Heritage magazine, published by the ECO Cultural Institute in collaboration with Allameh Tabataba’i University and a group of students from the ECO region, was unveiled and the participants in this virtual meeting expressed hopes that the special Nowruz issue is the beginning of more academic and regional cooperation of the ECO Heritage magazine.