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Statement by H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gül

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

Mr. President, 

Distinguished Heads of State,

Mr. Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Fourteen years have passed since this noble community launched the process of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia.  

In these fourteen years the CICA process have dramatically evolved and tested its relevance in the contemporary security environment. As such, CICA now stands as a landmark institution for regional cooperation in Asia.

In this success His Excellency Nazarbayev merits all our praise and appreciation. Had it not been for your far-sightedness and outstanding leadership, CICA would not have reached this stage of development.

Mr. President,

In the first half of the twenty-first century, we are faced with a very complex concept of security. Today, security is indivisible and comprehensive by nature.

Threats to security and stability emanating from one corner of the world are a direct concern to others. Such new threats as terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings span political or geographical boundaries.

To address these challenges we need a comprehensive and perhaps innovative set of political, military, economic and social measures.

As the risks and threats to our security and stability are closely interlinked, efforts to tackle them should also be in a consistent and harmonious with each other. Thus, dialogue and interaction among our states are more urgent than ever.

A shared commitment to embrace cooperative security is a key to stability and progress. Cooperative security requires genuine partnership; a partnership based on mutual accountability, transparency and confidence both at domestic and foreign policy levels. It also requires complementarity among initiatives and organizations aiming at strengthening security, stability and cooperation at international and regional levels.

I can underline that this very understanding lies also behind the CICA process. We all regard cooperative security as the guiding principle of international relations.

Mr. President,

CICA Member States have a common stake in the security and stability of Asia. We should exert our best efforts for conflict prevention and crisis management.

In 1999, we have adopted the “Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States”. This is the conceptual basis on which our dialogue and interaction shall flourish.

In light of existing CICA documents and commitments, ourcooperation should be based on strengthening trust and good-neighbourliness, by means of promoting democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms.

Moreover, mechanisms of cooperation among us should be flexible. They should be able to evolve and diversify in line with the changing security environment. In that respect, we should introduce, as necessary, new methods of cooperation in the fields of:

- economic affairs;

- environmental protection;

- good-governance;

- development of energy and transport routes; as well as

- social and cultural interaction.

Mr. President,

Your Eminences,

Four years have passed since we first held the CICA Summit, the outcome of which was the “Almaty Act”. One fundamental commitment that we have then taken was the adoption of a catalogue of confidence-building measures.

Confidence-building measures, the backbone of CICA, provide the ground on which cooperation and interaction among states can take a systematic, lasting and a reliable form. The short history of world politics has shown us that the confidence building measures helped introducing, strengthening and maintaining security and stability across the globe.

I wholeheartedly believe that the CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures, bear the same kind of potential. Promising steps have been taken to implement some of these measures.

I would like to call upon all our CICA partners to come to a consensus to fully implement, without any discrimination, the measures in military-political dimension and in economic, environmental and human dimensions of the CICA Catalogue.

Interaction and cooperation in the security field and implementing confidence building measures require solid and well-functioning institutions. Therefore, we note with satisfaction that in this very Summit Meeting, the CICA Secretariat is being established. We are ready to support, by every means possible, the activities of the Secretariat.

Meanwhile, I should remind that no single State or organization can, on its own, meet the challenges facing us today. Therefore, co‑operation with other relevant international organizations and institutions is required. We encourage the Secretariat and its Executive Director to start systematic interaction with other organizations.

Mr. President,

It is becoming increasingly apparent that progress depends on political, economic and social factors. However, certain developments around the world throughout the last two years demonstrated that manifestation of hate, particularly in political discourse, and disrespect for others’ beliefs, religion or culture might have dire consequences.

In that regard, I should particularly highlight that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, culture or geography. This said those who claim to act in the name of one belief or religion while resorting to violenceunfortunately feed the already existing prejudices.

The need to work together to promote tolerance, mutual respect and understanding is ever more pressing. This should be a clear message that CICA should give to the world. In that regard, I also call upon the CICA Member States to extend their full support to the project “Alliance of Civilizations”, which is co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, as well as other regional initiatives in that direction.

Before I conclude, Your Excellency, I would like to once again commend Kazakh Chairmanship of CICA for their dedicative efforts and your warm hospitality in this beautiful city of Almaty.

I also would like to congratulate all CICA Member States for their will and determination.

We are also happy to witness the rapid expansion of CICA with new members.            I would like to welcome the Republic of Korea as full member to CICA.

In concluding, I would like to reiterate once again Turkey’s strong commitment to the CICA process.

I thank you.