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Statement by H.E. Dr. Manaspas Xuto
Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand


Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, please allow me to express my appreciation to the Government of Kazakhstan for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation. It is an honour to be amongst such distinguished company at this Third Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). 
I also wish to take this opportunity to welcome the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates into our CICA family. We also welcome the State of Qatar as Observer. Your participation will bring to CICA important and valuable perspectives on the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in this region.

Mr. Chairman,
Inspired by the vision of His Excellency President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan more than one and a half decades ago, CICA has come a long way, making significant progress on many fronts.
Today, CICA is a key regional organization in its own right. It has advanced in its external relations, notably with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and, most recently, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Thailand looks forward to the implementation of the MOUs CICA has agreed with these organizations.
CICA members also feel a greater sense of ownership in the CICA process, continuing to volunteer to take turns hosting various CBM activities. For our part Thailand hosted the Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee Meetings in Bangkok last year, where two important documents were endorsed, that is, the "Cooperative Approach for Implementation of the CICA CBMs" and the "Guidelines for CICA's External Relations." The Bangkok Meetings underlines Thailand's continuing commitment to the CICA process.

Mr. Chairman,
Given the increasingly complex and inter-linked challenges and threats facing our diverse continent and the world today, we must intensify our cooperation. I believe that CICA can add value in three areas.
First is in the area of security which, today, includes such non-traditional issues as terrorism, communicable diseases, natural disasters, climate change, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons. In response, we should increase our sharing of information, experiences and best practices as well as enhance capacity building. Thailand is open to sharing with CICA colleagues our experience in such areas as the prevention and control of communicable diseases, especially HIV and AIDS, disaster management and alternative development.
Second is in the area of energy security, in which CICA has tremendous potential to cooperate. After all, we have amongst us some of the world's major energy producers and consumers. High prices of fossil fuels, potential rivalry among countries to ensure energy security, the impact on the global climate, environment and possible linkage to food security make it imperative for us to tackle these issues urgently and seriously.
Third is in the area of economic cooperation. As a country with a vibrant market economy, Thailand recognises the key role played by SMEs. We, therefore, welcome Russia's draft concept paper on "Implementation of the CICA CBMs in Area of Business Opportunities and Information Exchange in SMEs" and wish to reiterate our firm interest in co-coordinating SME activities with Russia.

Mr. Chairman,
Thailand is a firm believer in the strength of Asia. As the current Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand will make utmost effort to ensure that ASEAN continues to make a contribution to strengthening Asia. And I believe that ASEAN is on the right track. The ASEAN Charter that we have agreed will make ASEAN more rules-based, action-oriented and people-centred. It will also create an ASEAN human rights body. And we are pursuing the creation of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
Just as we in ASEAN are working in the interests, and for the benefit, of our peoples, so is CICA. Thailand hopes that CICA will continue to strengthen interaction and dialogue among its Member States to build trust and confidence so that there is peace and stability in the region. In this connection, we look forward to the implementation of more concrete measures as indicated in the CICA Catalogue on Confidence Building Measures.
Mr. Chairman,
CICA has indeed come a long way, but we need to push on in realising our goal of a peaceful, strong and united Asia. Thailand reaffirms our commitment to this goal as well as our determination to contribute to its realisation together with our CICA colleagues.
Thank you.