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Statement by H.E. Mr. Nursultan A. Nazarbayev

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Distinguished Heads of States!

Distinguished heads and members of delegations of the countries of the world,

heads of international organizations!

Ladies and gentlemen!

Let me express to all of you my sincere gratitude for your participation in the work of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building-Measures in Asia , which, beginning with today, will become an immutable fact and one of the institutions of world politics.

10 years ago the participants of the 47th UN General Assembly session reacted with understanding and approval to my proposal on convening a regularly functioning conference of heads of Asian states to discuss the vital issues of today, elaboration of adequate measures to address the challenges of the XXI century.

This understanding was based on the realia of the already e merging new world order in which the prospects of sustainable development and prosperity of nations of the planet are defined not only by global but also in many aspects of regional security systems.

Our countries have become active participants of painstaking but sufficiently dynamic preparatory work concluded by the formation of a distinctive core of this new structure. By the present moment 16 states including leading countries of our continent have confirmed their firm intention to participate in its work.

It is with satisfaction that I take note of the fact that the idea of holding a summit was supported by states constituting 90% of the territory of whole Asia . Their population is about 3 billion people, almost half of the population of the planet.

The corporate economic potential of Asian states is an impressive and important factor of global economy. The gross domestic product of the countries of Asia is about 13 trillion dollars.

The economy of the states, participants of this conference, has also been developing very rapidly. Our states are extremely attractive for foreign investments.

China alone in the years of reforms has been able to attract 450 billion dollars of foreign investments. Russian and Indian markets also have good investment opportunities. Kazakhstan as well enjoy favorable positions in this field.

The CICA member states occupy leading positions in the world in oil reserves, being in possession of 40% of «the black gold» on the earth». Transport and communication opportunities of the Asian subcontinent are really huge.

The recent Asian crisis had serious repercussions for the economies of Asian countries but it failed to undermine their basis. Asia has once again demonstrated its ability for self-regulation and recovery in the difficult conditions of economic globalization.

At the same time under the present conditions it is impossible to speak with confidence about the economic prosperity of our continent without security mechanisms capable to promote a more secure existence of nations of Asia .

This why I think that this forum is extre mely important not only in view of the discussion of vital political problems but also in terms of providing for the necessary guarantees to ensure sustainable economic growth of our countries.

We certainly face very complicated tasks. Asia is both politically and economically heterogeneous area.

Most probably it will be more difficult to establish security institutions in Asia than in Europe though we are passing our way twice as fast.

The signing of the Almaty Act does not at all mean that already tomorrow we will get a structure similar to OSCE. A lot of intense political and diplomatic activities are in store for us to bring closer long-term, often inconcurrent, interests of the Asian countries, to establish a relevant legal basis.

At the same time this Act opens up a way to concrete consultations and negotiations aimed at the establishment of the CICA organizational foundation.

We must keep in mind that interaction and confidence building measures include a whole spectrum of dimensions determining political, military, ecological and humanitarian security. Expert work must be done in all these directions without any delay.

I think that we do not have to start from scratch. A lot has already been done within the framework of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation. This organization can become an effective instrument of ensuring security and confidence on the vast territory of the Asian continent.

It would also be expedient to use the provisions of the CIS Collective Security Treaty whose potential is far from being exhausted.

Kazakhstan welcomes the signing of the treaty between Russia and the USA on further reduction of strategic armaments.

The implementation of this fundamental treaty will undoubtedly allow to improve considerably a military and political situation on the Asian continent.

We call upon all the partici pants of the CICA process to display reserve and responsibility in interrelations with each other in order to avoid large scale conflicts and escalation of tension in Asia .

Military conflicts on our continent are fraught with tens of millions of human victims.

We are all concerned about conflict in South Asia . We wish and call upon our neighbors to achieve a peaceful resolution of the problems. It is important for the region to ensure settlement of the Middle East conflict.

Kazakhstan considers that such documents as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are a solid basis for building a more secure world, play an important role in providing stability, security and confidence in Asia .

The goals of ensuring peace and stability in Asia are even more significant in the context of the latest events in Afghanistan and around this long-suffering state.

It is gratifying that all Asian countries decisively oppose international terrorism as global evil.

We note with satisfaction successful anti-terrorist operations of the international coalition headed by the USA . This made it possible to lead Afghanistan out of the prolonged war, to create conditions for the establishment of civil peace.

But it would be politically naive to think that the proble m of ensuring security both in Afghanistan and the Central Asian region has been completely solved. Unfortunately there are more questions that answers here.

For example, a problem of drug trafficking whose biggest in the world source is still Afghanistan has not been solved yet.

The volume of drug trafficking after the well known events in this country has not reduced but, on the contrary, has increased. This is a serious challenge to security on the whole Asian continent. This is an object of special attention of our states.

We should neither disregard the evident fact that the scale of illicit arms trafficking on the Asian continent is steadily rising.

Another dangerous consequence of the unstable situation, particularly around Afghanistan , a manifestation of new threats in our region is such a phenomenon as illegal migration. Of serious concern is its rising scale, its merging with such negative notions as drug trafficking, extre mism and illicit arms trafficking.

I think that our states have to develop a concerted policy in this field, to clearly coordinate it with relevant international organizations in order to efficiently oppose this threat and criminal structures behind it.

We think that the adoption by our forum of the Declaration on the joint actions in combating international terrorism has an extremely great importance. To curb international terrorism we must unite political, financial, intellectual efforts of the whole world community.

In our view an important coordinating role in ensuring security on the Asian continent must be played by the United Nations Organization. All vital decisions must be adopted by a community of states within the UN framework.

Distinguished heads of states, heads of delegations!

Today's summit, signifying the beginning of the work of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia , is an exclusively important milestone.

But this is only the beginning of a long way to our goal — establishment of security institutions.

And here of great importance is a role of the biggest states of Asia and of the world — China , Russia , India , other CICA Member-States. We hope that these states will be, as before, actively facilitating the practical realization of the CICA process.

The Almaty Act suggests to consider comprehensively an idea of the creation of a constantly operating Secretariat which could regulate the work of senior officials on the establishment of the CICA institutions.

Kazakhstan together withits partners is ready to actively partici pate in addressing organizational and financial aspects of the activities of the Secretariat which might consist of diplomaticexperts of the CICA Member-States.

Special e mphasis must be made on the fact that the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia is open to all the states of the continent.

Kazakhstan, as a coordinator of this process at this stage expresses hope that such states as Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries of South-Eastern Asia will leave a group of observers and become the CICA full-fledged members. This would undoubtedly contribute to the successful functioning of CICA as a continental structure.

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In conclusion I would like to thank the experts of all the countries who have participated in the 10-year long work on promoting ideas of this forum and bringing closer the time of today's summit.

Special thanks go to Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CICA member states who have continuously coordinated this work and prepared all the necessary basic documents and conditions for holding the given summit.

Thank you for your attention.