Minister Frattini made his remarks at the opening session of 'Conference on Afghanistan and its geographical context: development of a regional network of cultural and scientific cooperation,' held on 26 June 2009 in Trieste, Italy, within the framework of the G8 Ministerial Meeting.' The conference was co-organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TWAS.
"The enormous potential for regional cooperation has thus far not been adequately exploited," Minister Frattini noted. "Cooperation in areas like boarder and customs issues, trade promotion, infrastructure, energy, market access, labour migration and, last but not least, cultural and scientific cooperation needs to be effectively approached from a regional angle."
The meeting, Minister Frattini added, will aim "to provide local and international players an opportunity for dialogue. Researchers, universities, international organizations, international science centres, as well as institutional representatives will gather to discuss how to strengthen scientific and technological cooperation as key factors in regional stabilization and economic growth."
The 'Conference on Afghanistan and its geographic context: Development of a Regional Network of Cultural and Scientific Cooperation' was attended by more than 100 members. It included presidents and representatives of the Afghan, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Iranian, Italian, Pakistani, Russian and Turkish academies of sciences and heads of scientific centres. The directors of Trieste's scientific centres also made presentations.
In addition to Minister Frattini, the opening session of the conference featured speeches by Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Afghanistan, and Hon. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan.
For the complete text of Minister Frattini's opening address, see www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Sala_Stampa