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Statement by H.E. Mr. Ahmet Necdet Sezer 

President of the Republic of Turkey

 President Nursultan Nazarbayev,

 Fellow Heads of State and Government,

 Distinguished representatives,

I would like to start by expressing my pleasure of being in brotherly Kazakhstan . I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the distinguished President of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose visionary proposal, first declared through a statement made at the General Assembly meeting of the United Nations in 1992, to initiate a process of security and cooperation in Asia, has reached fruition and has brought together this August audience here today to sign the Almaty Act. I believe, Kazakhstan 's efforts to this end constitute a clear demonstration of its commitment and resolve to contribute to the peace, security and stability of this vast region.

Mr. President,

We have witnessed historic developments in the last decade of the past century. During this time span the cold war has ended and tensions emanating from competing blocs has gradually left its place to a concept of cooperative security. This,in turn,has led to a greater awareness regarding the complementary of security and stability of another. The understanding that increased security for one country at the expense of decreased security for another, amounts to a zero sum game, is gaining ever more acceptance.

Parallel to these important developments the perception of threats has also undergone profound transformation. Terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, narcotics and arms smuggling, xenophobia, racism and aggressive nationalism have started to affect all nations. The transnational character of these risks has increased the necessity to pursue a comprehensive concept of security based on international cooperation.

It is important to implement global mechanisms aimed at enhancing security and stability in good faith and consistency. These mechanisms, incorporating arms control, disarmament and confidence and security building measures, constitute the basic framework for global and regional security and stability. In this regard, let me to remind you that Turkey is party to all international agreements and mechanisms aimed at preventing the proliferations of weapons of mass destruction. Turkey is also party to the treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe , which is the most comprehensive arrangement to date on the limitation of conventional arms. Furthermore, Turkey is party to most of politically binding instruments on confidence and security building measures covering the Eurasian geography. However, when we observe the situation in the geographic proximity surrounding Turkey , we cannot but fail to notice that regional arms control arrangements, disarmament, confidence and security building measures are few. For this reason Turkey continues to spare no efforts towards entering into bilateral and multilateral arrangements with our immediate neighbours.

With this understanding Turkey has supported the CICA process from its very inception, and has contributed to its development. It is our strong conviction that this process will not only contribute to regional peace and stability, but will also have a positive impact on global security and stability. We find it particularly noteworthy that CICA me mber states,among whom,some have opposing views on various issues while others have contentious bilateral problems,have been able to come together around a common cause. The harmonization of the differing interests of CICA participating states around our mutual aspirations for peace, security, stability and co-operation, constitutes one of the most important successes of this process.

In the geographical area covered by this conference,there exist proble ms which not only have the potential to adversely affect regional peace and stability but also global peace and stability. These constitute a serious concern for the entire international community. It is my sincere desire to see such problems resolved peacefully through recourse to the princi pies and mechanisms contained in the Almaty Act which we will be signing today.

Indeed, the Almaty Act enshrines the basic guidelines of our cooperation aimed at the enhancing security and stability in our region. In this regard, the Almaty Act outlines our resolve to create a common and indivisible security space in whichall participating states can co-exist in peace, freedom and prosperity, identifies the threats to our common security and defines the basic ele ments of our comprehensive and indivisible concept of security. I wish to reiterate my belief that all the commitments enshrined in the Almaty Act will be implemented in good faith and the Almaty process will be further developed in the years ahead.

The threat of terrorism to which I referred when speaking of risks to security, constitutes one of the gravest challenges the family of nations are confronted with today. Turkey has suffered immensely as a result of terrorism. Therefore, Turkey is a vanguard of nations capable of understanding the sufferings inflicted by terrorist acts. Our longstanding experience with terrorism has also placed Turkey among those nations most capable of effectively combating terrorism. Turkey has long tried to explain to the international community that terrorism knows no boundaries. That combating terrorism requires international cooperation. Unfortunately, I have to acknowledge that the understanding summarized as «long live the snake that does not bite me» has played an important part in the emergence of terrorism as the scourge of our century.

The painful experience of terrorist attacks, including those perpetrated on September 11,has unequivocally demonstrated the necessity to combat terrorism resolutely and in cooperation. The tragic events we have lived through, have shown us that terrorism is not limited to particular geography, nor can it be identified with any particular culture or civilization. There can be no justification or valid cause to invoke terrorism. Terrorism which is a targeted action against the most basic right — the right to life — constitutes the gravest human rights violation of all. Therefore, the international community must carry on its fight against terrorism in a resolute manner. In doing so, naturally, the principles of the rule of law, as well as the basic tenets of human rights must be carefully observed.

I would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize my belief that the Declaration on eliminating terrorism and promoting dialogue among civilizations which we will be adopting here today, in addition to the signing of the Almaty Act, lends our meeting special significance.

This conference, with the participation of states espousing different cultures and political structures, constitutes a very apt forum from which to call upon the international community to be wary, lest the global fight against terrorism be transformed into a quest targeting particular cultures, religion or states. I wish to share with you my sincere conviction that all cultures and civilizations, hand in hand, have the power to eliminate terrorism.

In closing my remarks, I would like to once again thank the distinguished President of Kazakhstan, my dear friend, His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has guided the development of the CICA process with such determination over the past ten years and has ensured its success through the adoption of the Almaty Act and the Declaration on eliminating terrorism, as well as to all the Kazakh authorities who have worked so hard to organize this conference. Lastly, allow me to reiterate my respects and best wishes to the heads of state or government, as well as other representatives of participating states to the CICA conference.