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More than 3000 people attended the opening session of the 9th General Conference of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 16 October. China's President, Hu Jintao, addressed the audience, which included representatives from 77 countries. The conference marked the 20th anniversary of TWAS, which is headquartered at ICTP's Miramare campus in Trieste. The four-day event ended with the Beijing Declaration which, among other action items, called on developing countries to forge even stronger programmes for South-South cooperation as a primary strategy for promoting science-based development. At the conference, Brazil, China and Mexico each announced that they would provide 50 fellowships for promising young students in the South under a grant programme administered by TWAS. For additional information about the conference, see

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