The Twenty First Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 4-8 September 1989. The Meeting was officially opened by His Excellency Sri Paku Alam VIII, the Governor of the Special Territory of Yogyakarta. The Meeting considered progress reports of on-going projects; assessed the development of cooperation programmes with ASEAN dialogue partners; and considered new project proposals and other relevant issues in the fields of science and technology. The Meeting was attended by delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The ASEAN Secretariat was also represented.

Following the approval of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology by the authorities within the ASEAN machinery this Meeting marked a new phase of development in the field of science and technology.

In line with the reorganization of COST subsidiary Bodies, the Meeting decided on the necessary guidelines for the Sub-Committees future plan and activities. The Meeting adopted the structure and Terms of Reference of COST Sub-Committees and agreed to the chairmanship of each of the eight new subsidiary bodies as follows ;

  1. Sub-Committee on Food Science and Technology – Philippines

  2. Sub-Committee on Meteorology and Geophysics – Singapore

  3. Sub-Committee on Microelectronics and Computers – Singapore

  4. Sub-Committee on Materials Science and Technology – Indonesia

  5. Sub-Committee on Biotechnology – Thailand

  6. Sub-Committee on Non-Conventional Energy Research – Thailand

  7. Sub-Committee on Marine Sciences Indonesia

  8. Sub-Committee on Science and Technology Infrastructure and Resources Development Malaysia

The Meeting also discussed the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment as a new body elevated from the ASEAN Experts Group on the Environment of COST, reporting directly to the ASEAN Standing Committee and the Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on the Environment.

The Meeting noted further that the establishment of the ASEAN Science Fund was approved at the Fourth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Science and Technology with a seed contribution from each member country. The ASEAN Science Fund would be a common regional fund to be utilized solely for science and technology activities. An Advisory Body has been set up to assist ASEAN COST to manage the fund. Malaysia has been elected as the first Chairman of this body.

The Meeting agreed on the guidelines and general principles for the operation of the ASEAN Science Fund.

The Meeting reviewed regional cooperative research and development projects in food, non-conventional energy, environment, climatology, marine sciences, biotechnology, microelectronics, and materials science. It also discussed the project on the management of science and technology, as well as, the continuing publication of the ASEAN Journal of Science and Technology for Development. New project proposals were also considered. ASEAN cooperation in science and technology with dialogue partners, namely Australia, Canada, the European Community, Japan New Zealand, the United States, and UNDP was also reviewed.

The ASEAN delegates expressed their appreciation to the Government and the people of Indonesia for the warm hospitality accorded them and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting. The next meeting of COST will be held in Malaysia tentatively scheduled for March 1990.