Arab States Research and Education Network to be Launched in Cairo
CAIRO: Under the patronage of the Secretary General of the League of Arab StatesLeague of Arab States HE Mr. Amr Moussa, the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) was officially inaugurated during its founding meeting held December 8th-9th and presided by HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of ASREN Board at the Arab LeagueArab League Headquarters.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, chair of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development of the United Nations (UN GAID) announced the launch of ASREN on March 31, 2010 at the 3rd EU-MED Event held in Brussels, Belgium.
The announcement marked a major step towards sustaining ICT infrastructures for research and education in the Mediterranean region for eScience across Arab nations.
ASREN is established as a legal entity under the auspices of the League of Arab StatesLeague of Arab States and the UN GAID to help secure sustainable e-Infrastructures across the Arab world.
HE Dr Moussa highlighted the role of ASREN by saying:"The ASREN initiative will connect our researchers and scholars allowing them to share knowledge and to collaborate. It is a unifying network for the Arab region, and I commend it."
Meanwhile HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said: "We recognize that investing in science in general and in universities in particular needs to meet the ambitions of the Arab countries, hence, ASREN will act as an enabler and catalyst for creating investment in the scientific research and development in universities, the research will be digitally conducted by the students under the directions of their professors."
"ASREN will also adopt GAID's mission for the advancement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the use of ICT solutions. It is expected that ASREN will act as the Arab regional network for the ICT solutions matrix for the advancement of MDGs under the honorary chairmanship of the UN Secretary General," Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh added.
Building on EUMEDCONNECT2, the high-capacity Internet network for research and education in the Mediterranean which is co-funded by the European Commission, ASREN sets out to widen its geographical footprint by connecting other Arab national research and education networks (NRENs) in addition to the current seven EUMEDCONNECT2 member countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.
This is a strategic step that is expected to lead to long-term sustainability of e-Infrastructures in the Mediterranean and the neighboring Gulf region, potentially serving a population of over 250 million people and ensuring that scientists and academics in the region can continue to participate in world-class research and education activities.
The meeting was attended by HE Mr. Ersat Hurmuzlu - senior advisor to the President of the Republic of Turkey, who welcomed linking this network to Turkey and the European networks as a preliminary step towards linking it to global networks.
The participants commended this important initiative which reflects the visions of the leaders of Arab countries. The speakers also thanked His Excellency the Secretary General of the Arab LeagueArab League , Mr. Amr Moussa, for accepting the honorary chairmanship of ASREN, which in turn shall provide support and guidance to achieve the assigned objectives. The attendants entrusted His Excellency Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh to preside over ASREN's founding board.
It was also agreed that the head office of the network shall be in Dusseldorf and shall have a regional office in the Arab region. The meeting has adopted the objectives and the action plan of ASREN to proceed accordingly, taking into consideration developing the same on an ongoing basis.
An invitation shall be served to all research centers at universities and in the Arab world to join ASREN after it has been legally founded and then call for a general meeting to elect its new board of directors.