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Excellency President Abdullah Gül, 

Distinguished Leaders of State and Government, 

Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is a great honour for me, on behalf of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, to attend the 3rd Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia today as full member.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to the host country Turkey and H.E. President Abdullah Gül for the warm reception and excellent arrangement of the Conference. And I would also like to, on behalf of the people of Vietnam , send my greetings to all participants.

          Ladies and gentlemen, 

Today marks an important milestone for Vietnam ’s regional cooperation process when we become party to the Almaty Act and the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States to become a full-fledged CICA member. We would also like to thank member countries for your trust and support for Viet Nam ’s accession. This is a great honor and an opportunity for Viet Nam to make greater contributions to the goals of peace, cooperation and development in Asia . Viet Nam promises to strive for a strong and efficient CICA.

Today we become a full member of CICA. However, Viet Nam has participated in this Conference as an Observer nearly 20 years ago in 1993. Viet Nam holds in high regards the remarkable developments of CICA over the past two decades: starting from the initiative of President Nazarbayev in 1992 to form a common dialogue mechanism for Asia and then the growing into the prestigious and effective CICA of today. CICA has proven its role as an important dialogue forum to help bridge the differences and build confidence in Asia, and contribute to an Asia of peace, security and development.

These accomplishments, aside from the efforts of member countries, could not have been possible without the role of Kazakhstan chairmanship, as well as the prestige, vision and personal leadership of President Nazarbayev over the past many years. Viet Nam would also like to congratulate Turkey on its official chairmanship of CICA and trusts that, under its stewardship, CICA will continue to see new substantive and effective developments.

         Ladies and gentlemen, 

Viet Nam shares the values of CICA enshrined in the Almaty Act and the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States. With a foreign policy aimed at peace, cooperation and development, Viet Nam will actively and responsibly participate in CICA. Viet Nam will contribute to raising the voice of the Southeast Asian region, especially ASEAN in the building of an Asia of security and development. As you may know, ASEAN is actively striving for an economic, security – political, socio-cultural community by 2015 and holds a central role in larger cooperation mechanisms in the region such as the ASEAN plus framework, ARF, EAS, thus contributing actively to the cooperation, confidence building process towards peace, security, and development in the region and the world.

        Ladies and gentlemen,

Asia , our common home, is presented with big opportunities for peace, cooperation and development. On economic front, Asia is currently the driving force for global growth. In terms of politics and culture, Asia is becoming ever more important on the international arena. However, Asia continues to face security challenges in the context of globalization and increasing interdependency. These are challenges generated by the economic financial crisis, challenges in sustainable development and realizing the Millennium Development Goals, by terrorism, cross-border crime, climate change, rising sea-levels, water resource use, energy and food security, territorial conflicts, pandemics…

We need to utilize on the opportunities and strive ever harder for long-term resolutions to security and development challenges in Asia . These challenges require Asia to come up with suitable collective approaches to security like the theme of our Conference suggests to address, on a multi-lateral basis, in a fair manner, based on mutual respect, respect for the UN Charter and international laws. This means that CICA will continue to play an important role as a channel for dialogue and coordination to deal with risks, as a forum where we can continue to realize confidence building and preventive diplomacy measures, where confidence building will act as the foundations for building trust among countries. In this spirit, Vietnam believes that the deployment of the Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures should take key priority in CICA’s agenda for the future.

For lasting peace and sustainable development in Asia we need to not only cope with threats to security, stability but also pay more attention to increased economic cooperation, bridging the development gap between nations in the region, step up socio-cultural exchanges, viewing this as an effective bridge for friendship and cooperation between peoples. Viet Nam hopes that CICA will build on its role and forte in this field to construct a firm friendship and peaceful foundation for the region.

         Ladies and gentlemen,

         The organization of today’s event in the beautiful city of Istanbul, the gateway between Europe and Asia, is proof that Asia is not isolated but rather closely related to other regions. Regions, as well as nations, cannot singlehandedly cope with the risks and challenges of the 21st century no matter how strong that particular region, nation maybe. This reality requires CICA to focus its attention more on cooperation with other regional organizations in its activities such as the OSCE, CIS, SAARC, ASEAN and more.

         As the Chair of ASEAN in 2010, Viet Nam will do its best so that ASEAN will continue to make contributions to the region, and will also promote cooperation between ASEAN and partners and organizations in the region, including CICA. Viet Nam trusts that, the formation of a coordination mechanism between ASEAN and CICA will work to improve their activities and role internationally.

         Ladies and gentlemen,

As a region with over half of the world’s population with many dynamically developing economies and possessing a trove of diverse cultures, Asia is presented with a host of new opportunities. We have every reason to work together to take hold of the opportunities presented to us, and to overcome challenges for peace, cooperation, dynamism and development in Asia .

Please allow me to express my wish for an ever growing CICA, and to wish you all health and happiness.

Thank you for your attention.