The Sixth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) was hosted by Kazakhstan’s Сhairmanship under the theme: “Security and Sustainable Development in Asia in New Realities of the Post-Pandemic World”, Delovoy Kazakhstan reports.
The representatives of Member States and observers, heads of international observer organizations and partner-organizations attended the Meeting. 23 of the 27 States were represented by ministers or their deputies.
Ahead of the Ministerial Meeting, its participants were received by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Opening the Ministerial meeting, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Akan Rakhmetullin read out a statement to the participants from the First President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The welcoming statement of the UN Secretary General António Guterres was read out by the head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia, Natalia German.
As the head of the Kazakh delegation emphasized, "today, after almost three decades, CICA is an effective forum for multilateral diplomacy." According to him, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries are facing new challenges, including ensuring epidemiological, medical and food security. In this regard, the importance of the initiative to transform the CICA into a full-fledged international organization was emphasized, which would give a new important impetus to the political dialogue within the framework of the Conference, increase the effectiveness of the implementation of confidence-building measures in Asia, and address common challenges to global and regional security.
During the Meeting, the parties engaged in a constructive exchange of views on the most pressing issues of international and regional agenda, the current state and prospects of cooperation among the Member States in priority areas of cooperation within the CICA.
The delegations noted the outstanding contribution of Nursultan Nazarbayev to the establishment and evolution of the CICA, which today makes a meaningful contribution to multilateral efforts for ensuring regional cooperation and security in Asia. Appreciation was expressed to the Kazakh Chairmanship for the systematic work to further strengthen and implement the potential of the CICA.
The importance of assistance from the international community to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan was noted. The participants also welcomed the accession of Turkmenistan to the CICA as an observer state.
The parties agreed to continue active joint work within the framework of the Meeting and welcomed Kazakhstan's intention to hold the 6th CICA Summit in 2022.
Following the event, the Ministers adopted the following important documents:
- Statement of the CICA Chairmanship. The document notes the importance of strengthening cooperation between the CICA countries to ensure security and peace in Asia, countering new challenges and threats, including in the field of epidemiological security, environmental protection and adaptation to climate change, sustainable economic development, promoting the digital economy, interconnection in the field transport and logistics, cultural dialogue, etc. Special attention is paid to the situation in Afghanistan. Transformation of the CICA Think Tank Forum into a permanent platform is welcomed;
- Updated CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures. The Catalogue adapted to modern realities includes such new priority areas of cooperation as epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals, information and communication technologies, and the fight against terrorism;
- Regulations on the CICA Council of Eminent Persons. The Council of Eminent Persons is supposed to be a consultative and advisory body of the CICA on a wide range of issues of interaction and development of the CICA, including the issues of strengthening peace and security, implementation of confidence-building measures, as well as further priorities within the CICA;
- Amendments to the CICA Rules of Procedure regarding the status of observers.
The participants agreed to continue active cooperation within the framework of the CICA and welcomed Kazakhstan's proposal to host the 6th CICA Summit in 2022.
In addition, the participants took part in the inauguration of the new office of the CICA Secretariat in Nur-Sultan.
Kazakhstan is chairing the Meeting in 2020-2022. Among previous chairs of CICA were Turkey, China and Tajikistan.
The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is an international forum for strengthening cooperation aimed at ensuring peace, security and stability in Asia. The idea of convening the CICA was first announced by the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy N. Nazarbayev at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly on October 5, 1992.