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Statement by
H.E. Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
at the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction
and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
15 June 2019
Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan

Distinguished Heads of States and Governments,

Heads of international organisations!

At the outset, I would like to express cordial gratitude to H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan for hospitality and excellent arrangements of the Summit and for the congratulations addressed to me. I am confident that Chairmanship of Tajikistan in the CICA will contribute to the Forum's active engagement in addressing the most urgent issues of the region.

I would like to express my special appreciation to H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China for successful Chairmanship of CICA during 2014-2018. China has made a significant contribution to the geographical expansion of the Forum and increased its role and stature in the international arena.

Today, CICA is reputable multilateral structure, uniting 35 states of the Asian region and nearly half of the world’s population.

The idea to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was proposed by the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the United Nations back in 1992 and set a new milestone in the history of our continent and became a tangible factor in ensuring security in Asia. I had the privilege to be directly involved in promotion of the Kazakhstan’s initiative. To be quite honest, back then only few believed that in ten years heads of states of the continent would adopt Almaty Act – the Charter of the CICA. Thereby, we launched the creation of the unique Forum in Asia. The tactics of progressive advance from simple to complex ensured the success of the CICA process.

Unfortunately, the international situation has seriously deteriorated in recent year. The outbreak of conflicts and erosion of security mechanisms, trade and sanctions wars and as well as escalating threat of international terrorism are the new geopolitical realities. Security threats, ideological and ethno-religious controversies are of a great concern in the Asian region. Under these circumstances system and comprehensive approaches are required to address key security issues in Asia. In this context, I would like to share Kazakhstan's vision on the further development of CICA.

Firstly, I encourage all friends and partners to join efforts to increase the effectiveness and international competitiveness of the Forum. CICA should represent and defend its interests at the global level. Therefore, we need its step-by-step, gradual transformation into a full-fledged regional organisation. As we know, the initiative to transform CICA into an Organisation for Security and Development in Asia (OSDA) was proposed by the First President of Kazakhstan in 2014. Since then this proposal was supported by the majority of the states of the Forum. We believe that all necessary conditions have been created for institutionalizational development of CICA, a legal framework has been developed, and its permanent structures are functioning. At the same time, we do not want to get ahead of ourselves. We are committed to consistent work and futher consultations within CICA.

Secondly, quality evolution of CICA will contribute to synchronization of security processes in the Eurasian continent. In this regard, I would like to mention the relevance of 3D initiative to form a global architecture of inclusive development recently proposed by the First President of Kazakhstan in Beijing. The essential aim of this idea is to ensure the synergy of CICA and OSCE potentials in order to elaborate plans of interaction process across Eurasia. In the long run, other regional multilateral institutions of Asia and Europe may consider joining this process.

Thirdly, ensuring constructive negotiations on contentious issues and resolving contradictions at the emerging stage remain high on the agenda. This requires creation of effective political mechanisms of interaction between Member States. Therefore, it is quite possible in the near future to build under the CICA auspices a full-fledged system of collective security capable of carrying out international mediation.

Fourthly, the urgent task is to develop joint systemic approaches to counter international terrorism. The Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism adopted at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly and supported by 82 states of the world is an important commitment to combat this evil. The Code may serve as a starting point in elaborating proposals on prevention of the terrorism threat in the CICA region.

Fifth, there is an urgent need for expanding the practical cooperation between Member States in all key dimensions of the Forum. We propose to set up a special Fund to finance projects, programs and other activities of the Forum. Such a new mechanism is intended to become an additional incentive for the activity of the CICA Business Council. I believe that investments in human capital can give a huge impetus to the economic well-being of all CICA Member States. In this regard, a priority should be given to the development of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue in Asia. Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which are regularly held in Kazakhstan greatly contribute to this noble cause. Another important area of ​​interaction should be establishment of the high-quality expert support in all CICA dimensions. It is desirable to strengthen potential of CICA think-tank by transforming them into a permanent dialogue platform. We also consider it timely to comprehensively review the issue of setting up of the Сouncil of the Wisemen, which would generate proposals for working bodies of the Forum.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the implementation of the above given initiatives would raise cooperation of CICA Member States to a new quality level. Kazakhstan is ready for full-scale cooperation in the framework of CICA in the interests of all its Members.

Thank you for your attention!