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Message of the United Nations Secretary-General

Delivered by Mr. Miroslav Jenca,
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia,
Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia

I am pleased to convey my best wishes to the Ministers for Foreign Affairs gathered for this meeting. The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia plays an important role in facilitating dialogue and strengthening cooperation in the region.
The CICA process has gained impressive momentum since the first Summit meeting in 2002. There have been initiatives not only in the military-political sphere, but in the economic, environmental and humanitarian areas, along with measures to address new challenges and threats. The establishment of the permanent Secretariat was a landmark event for CICA, which is attracting new membership and looking to the future with fresh momentum.
The emergence of CICA has paralleled the dynamic development of Asia. The countries of the region have made tremendous strides towards prosperity. Many enjoy an environment of growth and opportunity, while others are striving to realize their potential. However, the promise of development and the advancement of universal human values can be undermined by war and conflict. To face these threats and to safeguard peace, a comprehensive prevention strategy is needed, encompassing a range of instruments - political, diplomatic, humanitarian and developmental. The confidence building measures put forward by CICA can play this role.
We at the United Nations stand ready to further develop ties with CICA. I would like to emphasize in particular CICA's constructive approach to ensuring the peaceful settlement of disputes. Cooperation in this area between CICA and the United Nations, including the newly established Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, can go a long way toward finding sustainable solutions to various challenges facing the region. The observer status obtained by the CICA in the General Assembly gives further impetus to deepening our collaboration. Working together, we can achieve our common goals of guaranteeing peace and prosperity in Asia. In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for success in your deliberations.