The 2nd General Assembly (GA) of ANSO was held online on January 20th, 2022 with the participation of the heads and representatives of 32 ANSO member organizations out of a total of 37 founding members. As this meeting was held online under the pandemic, it was also called the ANSO Special GA. The meeting successfully completed all the planned agenda, including 1) the approval of the amendments to the ANSO Statutes, 2) the approval of the ANSO new membership applications since the last GA in 2018, 3) the election of a new ANSO Governing Board (GB), 4) the presentation of the ANSO progress report for the past three years, and 5) the discussion on the ANSO future strategies and priorities.
Prof. BAI Chunli, President of ANSO, delivered both a welcome speech and a conclusion remark. He thanked all the members for their continuous contribution to the growth and development of the ANSO in the past three years. Prof. M. Qasim Jan, Vice President of ANSO, chaired the meeting. Prof. CHEN Xilin, Director General of the Bureau of International Cooperation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) attended the meeting.
ANSO Progress Report
Prof. CAO Jinghua, Executive Director of the ANSO Secretariat, gave the ANSO progress report in the past three years, emphasizing some of the highlight accomplishments, especially its contributions to the international joint fight against the pandemic. He attributed the ANSO success, impacts and development to the able leadership of the ANSO GB, the extensive consultation between the ANSO Secretariat and all the members and the active participation of a large number of ANSO members in various activities in addition to the strong support from CAS.
Amendment to the ANSO Statutes
& Approval of New Member Applications
Prof. Narong Sirilertworakul, President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) of Thailand, presented the proposal on the amendments to the ANSO Statutes, elaborating the reasons and needs behind such amendments. He also introduced the 30 new applications to join ANSO submitted since the first GA and the reasons for the delay in the approval.
Prof. CAO Jinghua announced the results for the above two issues based on the email feedbacks (or email voting) from all the ANSO founding members. All the amendments to the ANSO Statutes and all the 30 new member applications to join in ANSO were approved by the GA.
Election of a New Governing Board
Prof. CAO Jinghua elaborated the special approach to achieve the election and announced the results of the new GB election through email voting.
According to the decisions made by the 2nd GA, Prof. BAI Chunli was elected as the President of ANSO for the second term, representing the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Prof. Alexander Sergeev at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) was elected for the second term as Vice President of ANSO, Prof. Narong Sirilertworakul at NSTDA was elected as the other VP of ANSO. The 2nd GA also approved the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), represented by their Presidents respectively, to be elected members of the new GB in replacement of the positions held by the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NAS RK) and the Tribhuvan University (TU) of Nepal. UNESCO, the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) of Kenya were approved to remain in the GB for the second term.
The GA expressed deep appreciation to Prof. M. Qasim Jan at PAS for leaving the position as VP of ANSO and for his dedicated service and thanked the heads of NAS RK and TU for giving up their positions in the GB for new faces and for their strong support.
Discussion on Future Priorities and Strategies
Prof. BAI shared his strategic thinking on the future development of ANSO, which was followed by active discussion, comments and suggestions from the participants. He particularly stressed the importance of ANSO to the promotion of international cooperation in science and innovation in today’s dynamic and ever-changing situation as a young international science organization.
Prof. Narong Sirilertworakul at NSTDA, Prof. Ferenc Hudecz at MTA, Prof. Shahbaz Khan at UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi at JKUAT, Prof. Tasawar Hayat at PAS, Prof. Luiz Davidovich at ABC, Prof. Hasan Mandal at TUBITAK, Prof. Murat Zhurinov at NAS RK, Prof. Dharma Kanta Baskota at TU, Prof. Romain Murenzi at TWAS, Prof. Rocky S. Tuan at CUHK, and Prof. Pema Gyamtsho at ICIMOD shared their comments and suggestions. All acknowledged ANSO’s remarkable achievements in the past and expressed expectation on more future collaborations. Many reviewed past cooperation with ANSO and CAS, emphasizing ANSO’s active role in promoting the UN SDGs. Other valuable suggestions include: ANSO should continue to pay more attention to the underprivileged and underrepresented groups and areas, for example, providing training and education opportunities; ANSO should incorporate more partners in different fields and different countries, including those in the industry; ANSO could place bio-circular-green economy as one of ANSO’s priorities; ANSO should make sure the effectiveness, strength and visibility of the programs and activities; ANSO should continue to establish regional centers and focal points both in China and around the world, etc.
In the end, Prof. BAI thanked all members again for their strong support to the GA meeting and to achieving ANSO’s vision, to the effective decisions by the GB, and the logistics work by the ANSO Secretariat. He believed that with the joint work of the ANSO community, the pandemic will be soon under control, face-to-face communication will resume, and ANSO will become stronger and more influential.