On 13 October 2022, the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held in Astana under the chairmanship of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The key outcome of the summit was the adoption of the Astana Declaration, which laid the foundation for a full-scale transformation of the CICA from a platform into a powerful international organization with a powerful voice and strength in addressing issues of regional stability and security.
“The forecast that the XXI century will be the century of Asia has become a reality today. Asia has become a recognized world economic leader in nominal GDP and purchasing power parity. The region has significant human and natural resources. Asia is home to 21 of the 30 largest cities in the world. Only $1 trillion of the estimated $30 trillion growth in middle-class consumption by 2030 is expected to fall on Western economies. However, the future of Asia depends on our collective readiness to enhance the dialogue between cultures, traditions and worldviews. I am sure that the steps taken to develop the CICA correspond to this goal,” Tokayev said, speaking at the summit
The transformation of the CICA into a “full-fledged international organization” has become one of the priorities of Kazakhstan in the year of its chairmanship. Thus, last year the CICA Catalogue of Confidence-building Measures was revised, which included new focus areas of cooperation, such as epidemiological security, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology security.
Following the results of the summit in Astana, the CICA Foundation was established, which will select projects and collect voluntary funds for their implementation. The number of observers and partners has grown. Last year Turkmenistan joined the CICA as an observer, and this year Kuwait has has been granted membership. Decisions were made to establish cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“The maturity and effectiveness of the CICA as a regional platform for political dialogue serves as a starting point for its further transformation. The member States have repeatedly discussed and agree in principle that the CICA already functions de facto as an organization. I would like to emphasize that we are not creating a new organization, but are moving to a new stage of institutional development. Raising the status of the meeting will strengthen the increased role of Asia in world affairs and bring the interaction of the member states to a new level,” the President of Kazakhstan said.
In the same vein, Kazakhstan has put out a number of ideas for consolidating the activities of the CICA in the economic and human dimension. These are the creation of the CICA Council, the transformation of the CICA Financial Summit into a permanent platform, the creation of green corridors for food products in the CICA space, setting up a Partner network of leading universities of the CICA member states.
The CICA summit in Kazakhstan was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Iran Ibrahim Raisi, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif, President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Vice President of China Wang Qishan, Vice President of Vietnam Vo Thi Anh Xuan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, as well as observer countries.
The Astana Statement – outlines the following actions for the further transformation of this platform into an organization:
- The parties launch the structured, inclusive and transparent negotiations process of gradual, incremental and consensus-based transformation of CICA into a full-fledged regional international organization.
- The process of transforming CICA will pursue the following major goals: defining the overarching areas of our future cooperation and strengthening the organizational and institutional base of our interaction.
- As the first step of the transformation process, it was decided that the Meeting of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Meeting) shall henceforth be referred to, respectively, as the Council of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Council);
- The Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat has been renamed as Secretary General;
- Moreover, the member-countries will make proposals in 2023 on a road map of necessary measures in the transformation process.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers – Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov took part in the CICA summit in Astana on behalf of Turkmenistan.
In his speech, Meredov recalled that Turkmenistan proposed to officially declare 2025 the Year of Peace and Trust. In this regard, Turkmenistan appealed to the CICA countries to support this initiative.
In addition, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan drew attention to the need to solve the refugee problem, which also concerns Asian countries.
Turkmenistan became an observer of the CICA in June 2021.
- Astana Statement on CICA Transformation
- CICA Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation in the Field of Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies
- CICA Plan of Action on the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
- Decision on granting the status of a CICA member state to Kuwait
- Decision on CICA presidency issues in 2022–2024 and on holding regular meetings of the Council of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers.
- CICA Fund Regulations
///nCa, 14 October 2022