CICA is an abbreviation known for a long time to world politicians and often heard on international platforms. The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia is a structure with a 27-year history, extensive geography and, so far, it seems, not fully realized potential. In the future, the CICA has every chance of becoming an Asian version of the OSCE. And considering that it includes the largest economies of the world today and the most populous countries of the world, the weight of this structure, with the necessary political will of the participants, can surpass the authority of even the most respected international associations.
The CICA was initiated by the First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. At the 47th session of the UN General Assembly back in 1992, he called for the creation in Asia of a security structure similar to similar associations in other regions of the world. The idea was supported. Almost two dozen countries joined the union at once. Now there are 27 participants on the list. Among them are the largest economies of the world and the most populous countries of the world: China and India, the advanced countries of the Asia-Pacific region: South Korea and Vietnam, geo-strategically important states of the Middle East: Israel, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq and Jordan, and other highly reputable players in the international community.
CICA is the most extensive organization among all Eurasian ones, and the most promising in terms of the economic and geopolitical potential of its participants. Implementing it to a full extent is hindered by the continuing serious contradictions between the members of the Meeting. Actually, therefore, SVMDA still remains an increasingly discussion platform. That, however, considering the conflict potential of Asia is already quite a few.
The largest number of unresolved territorial disputes, unfinished wars, constantly evolving into armed confrontation, unresolved water use issues, ethnic conflicts and terrorism – this is not the whole list of security threats in Asia. Individually and collectively, they serve as an indisputable argument for why the region needs a platform for discussing security issues.
And if we talk about the CICA precisely as a platform for discussing problematic issues, then the union precisely copes with this mission. Four summits of heads of state and six ministerial meetings were held at the site of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia during the life of the organization, dozens of important documents were signed, which now regulate the relations of the participating countries in various fields.
It is clear that this statistic may sound questionable in terms of efficiency. Why these meetings and declarations? Their real effect is poorly understood and hardly noticeable to ordinary people. But we must understand that the structure of relations in such large associations, between so many participants, and even having many bilateral problems and contradictions, is a very long and difficult process. Each such meeting and a document signed by all, even if the declaration is a brick in the wall of a single security structure of the whole of Asia.
Example of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is indicative in this sense. The European security wall has been built since 1973, almost half a century, and this construction continues to this day. And, it must be admitted that the OSCE mechanism has been slipping so far, but this does not cease to be less important and necessary.
CICA is still ahead. And the fact that already now, in fact, at the beginning of the path of unification, its members find a common language, despite the diversity of civilizational patterns and forms of social and political structure – this is already a great achievement.
If this dialogue continues on an ongoing basis, then the Conference has every chance of becoming the foundation for another already full-fledged international structure – the Organization for Security and Development of Asia. It could be an effective tool for the prevention of conflicts on the continent and contribute in general to security, and hence to the prosperity of the region.
The leaders of the CICA countries gathered in Dushanbe on June 15 for the anniversary, fifth meeting. These negotiations in the current context should be viewed as a chance to give a new impetus to the unification, which in the conditions of a decline in trust between states, the aggravation of long-standing contradictions and the growth of militaristic sentiments, is not even extremely, but vital. /// nCa, 17 June 2019