A Commemorative Session of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the CICA process and the Fourth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs were held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan on 12 September 2012. The commemorative session was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In his inaugural address, President Nazarbayev stressed the importance and effectiveness of the CICA, which now includes 24 countries occupying over 90% of Asia’s territory. The President mentioned that different cultures, civilizations and development models managed to establish Pan-Asian dialogue thanks to the CICA. The region has many problems and the forum’s main objective was to solve them through common efforts. The President also touched upon the recent political developments and other challenges facing the world and CICA’s role in addressing these issues. He expressed the view that CICA has a high enough potential for transformation into an organization and hoped that such transformation could take place by the time of the Fourth CICA Summit.
Fourth Ministerial Meeting was jointly chaired by H.E. Mr. A.Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, as representative of the Turkish CICA Chairmanship and H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as representative of the host country. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs or their representatives from the Member States, Observer States and Guest States; as well as representatives of the Observer and Guest Organisations.
The Ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues and explored possibilities to further enhance cooperation, peace and security in Asia. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting CICA as a multilateral forum for close cooperation, continuous dialogue and interaction, comprehensive exchange of views, addressing new challenges and threats, facilitating prevention of conflicts, peaceful settlement of disputes as well as developing and implementing agreed Confidence Building Measures in the Asian continent. The Ministers also adopted a declaration covering wide range of issues global community, including recent political developments, and CICA’s role in addressing these issues.
The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by meeting of the Senior Officials Committee (SOC) of CICA on 9-11 September 2012. SOC discussed a number of important issues, including the next Chairmanship of CICA. At the suggestion of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which was supported by the Turkish Chairmanship and other Member States, the People’s Republic of China agreed to assume CICA Chairmanship for the period 2014-16 and host the Fourth CICA Summit in 2014. Following the required procedure, Member States are expected to convey their formal approval of the proposal by 15 October 2012. SOC also approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CICA Secretariat and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for cooperation in the areas of countering illicit drugs, organised crime, international terrorism and other areas of mutual interest.