About Us Kazakhstan

Statement by H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov,

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Republic of Kazakhstan

Your Excellency, Mr. Co-Chairman,  

Distinguished Guests,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you to the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Astana. This city is the manifestation of the vision of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Within 15 years – in a harsh climate – this project was developed from an idea into reality. In less than a generation, Astana has become the center of political and cultural life of our country and a place for many important international forums and events. Today, it is the gate of Kazakhstan to the world.

As you are aware, CICA was also a courageous initiative of the President of Kazakhstan. Within the past two decades, it too has evolved from an idea into reality, during sometimes difficult international conditions. The support and engagement of CICA’s Member States and Observers as well as the leadership of its Chairmanship have turned CICA into a unique international structure and a political platform for broad dialogue and consultation on security issues in Asia.

In his speech at the 47th session of UN General Assembly on the fifth of October 1992, President Nazarbayev launched CICA with some words of Oriental wisdom: “A journey of a thousand steps starts with the first step”. Since then, together we have taken many steps in the right direction.

CICA has come a long way in 20 years. The basic documents of CICA – the Declaration of Principles and the Almaty Act as well as the Statute of the CICA Secretariat and the CICA Convention on Privileges and Immunities, the Catalogue of CBMs, Rules of Procedure, and the Cooperative Approach were adopted.

Today’s meeting is truly an occasion to celebrate and I would like to thank all of you for your dedication and commitment to the goals and principles of CICA.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my special appreciation to the Republic of Turkey and personally to H.E. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu for dynamic Chairmanship of CICA and for the considerable contribution that Turkey has made over the past few years. During your chairmanship, CICA has achieved tangible results. A lot of important meetings and events were held in all areas of interaction, among them the Third CICA Summit, an Informal CICA Meeting on the margins of the 66th UN General Assembly, 2nd Business Forum, the CICA Counter-Terrorism Experts Meeting, Joint CICA-IOM Workshop on Human Trafficking and others. You have also created a sense of dynamism and expectation that can help strengthen the effectiveness, and enhance the profile and relevance, of CICA.

As coordinator of the human dimension, Kazakhstan has made, and will continue to make, its best efforts to promote inter-civilizational and inter-cultural dialogue. I would like to thank Member States for their active participation in the CICA High Level Seminar on Sustainable Democratic Development and the International Youth Conference held in Astana on October 2011 and June 2012 respectively.

First steps for implementation of CBMs in the military-political dimension have been taken at the level of the Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee, and the first voluntary meeting on the military-political dimension was held in Almaty in February 2012.

Today our world is facing new challenges like never before. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking remain the pre-eminent threat to international peace and security.

The number of local and regional conflicts has increased significantly in recent years, and many of them are located in Asia. In addition, there is a tendency to blur the boundaries between internal and international conflicts. In a globalized world, conflicts pose a serious threat to the international community, undermining our common security and causing many people to suffer.

Many nations of the region face serious food shortages and increased poverty. The situation is aggravated by the instability of the global financial system, as well as an increase in natural and man-made disasters.

There is no state, even the most powerful one, that can cope with these challenges alone.

Therefore, we need to enhance cooperation to tackle the threats and challenges facing Asia. The tools already exist, thanks to the CICA Catalogue of CBMs. The task is to implement them. I would like to call upon Member States, which have not yet done so, to become co-coordinators for the implementation of these CBMs.

The relevance of CICA has increased since the centre of gravity of the world economy and international relations has shifted to Asia. Asian countries are playing a more active role on the global stage. Safeguarding and maintaining this progress requires stability and cooperation. If this is the Asian Century then there should be an Asian security organization. CICA is dedicated to play that role. 

In this regard I would like to thank China for its readiness to become the next CICA Chair in 2014-2016 and call Member States to support China’s candidature.

Excellencies,

Today the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan called for further steps to strengthen CICA.

In this regard, allow me to make a few concrete proposals.

First of all we should consider ways of strengthening the Secretariat. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work of H.E. Ambassador Cinar Aldemir and his staff. Kazakhstan is proud to host the CICA Secretariat since 2006.  Voluntary contributions of my country are equal to more than 75 % of the Secretariat’s overall budget.

As the Host Country we are planning to move the Secretariat from Almaty to Astana to facilitate closer cooperation with the embassies of CICA Member States.

This is essential to support more regular CICA meetings and to help states implement confidence-building measures. Moving the Secretariat to Astana will provide the possibility to create a permanent negotiating and consulting body, supported by the Secretariat, where regular CICA meetings can take place. This would ensure continuity between meetings and increase the frequency of contacts among CICA Members.

In order to create a more predictable and representative funding structure for CICA, there should be a review of the financial rules of CICA, for example to move away from voluntary contributions towards assessed funding and a scale of contributions.

The leadership of CICA and continuity of its activities would be strengthened by having an Executive Committee comprised of the Quartet of past, present and future Chairmanships plus the Host Country.

In conclusion, I would like to encourage all Asian countries to join CICA.  I urge all observers to become full members, and I invite states that are not yet observers or members to join Asia’s most inclusive and comprehensive security structure. I take this opportunity to congratulate TURKPA on obtaining the CICA observer status and to express hope for mutually fruitful cooperation.

Rest assured that Kazakhstan will continue to work as a catalyst for fully realizing the potential of CICA in order to promote stability and prosperity in Asia which is to the advantage of us all.

Thank you for your attention.