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    ICESCO DG at “Forum for Promotion of Peace:” No Substitute for Collective Effort to Build Consensus on Humanity’s Emerging Issues

    8 December 2020

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), called for seizing the opportunity that the COVID-19 pandemic offered to carefully reflect and join efforts on multiple emerging issues that require new consensus. The DG enumerated emerging issues such as stem cell research, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence. He said that the crisis has opened new horizons that humanity has never explored, and we should be able to grasp them and build a new consensus on them.

    The statement was part of the academic paper Dr. AlMalik presented during his participation in the 7th “Forum for the Promotion of Peace in Muslim Communities.” The videoconference kicked off on Monday and the event will last for a three-day period under the theme: “Human Values After Corona: Reviving Virtues in a Time of Crisis,” under the auspices of H.R.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. Ministers, representatives of governments and international organizations, religious leaders, high-level personalities, and hundreds of thinkers, academics, and researchers also participated in the event.

    The DG made his academic presentation into two parts. The first section diagnosed the humanitarian and health crises the world is currently experiencing. He warned that those who trade in tragedies have turned the sufferings of many societies into a profitable business so that global corporations can make fortunes at the expense of the poor and needy. He also cited the example of the vaccine war between laboratories and producing companies, which has caused a loss of confidence and raised suspicions among many people around the globe about the effectiveness of these vaccines.

    Dr. AlMalik devoted the second part of his presentation to the importance of federating efforts to solve new problems related to future technology crises. The DG pointed out in the section that the world is on the verge of a revolution that will shape the political, social, cultural systems, and even ecosystems. Unless there are monitoring and regulation of future innovations that impact human nature, we will inevitably be left behind in the course of history, he continued.

    Dr. AlMalik stressed that we must re-examine the complex reality in close collaboration with scientists, researchers, and designers of modern technologies throughout the world, to rationalize scientific research and artificial intelligence. He added that both concepts should serve humanity and their supreme interests while remaining under their close control.

    ICESCO DG stressed that the globalization of legislation poses a major challenge, as the impacts of contemporary technology are no longer limited to a specific geographical area.  He added that if we do not keep ourselves abreast of these changes in humanitarian efforts going beyond all laws, we will be limiting our reactions and discussions on past issues and disputes.

    At the end of his presentation, Dr. AlMalik called for in-depth knowledge, collective diligence, and working closely with scientists and researchers in these new fields to understand the effects and transformations that will enable taking proactive decisions.

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