The Economic Summit of the Kings, Heads of State and Governments of the Arab League has adopted an Arab Plan of Action for Science and Technology. The plan was adopted at the summit held in Kuwait from 19 to 20 January 2009. UNESCO and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) are spearheading efforts to implement the plan.
Under the plan, a network of centres of excellence in the Arab world will be set up. These centres will work together on joint research projects to facilitate cooperation and thereby strengthen scientific ties and mobility within the Arab world. As many Arab scientists are living and working farther afield, the plan includes a collaborative research programme with the diaspora.
An Arab observatory of science and technology will be set up to monitor progress in research and development (R&D) and the application of research results to problem-solving in Arab society. Four priority areas for R&D have been identified: water, food, energy and agriculture.