Nur Sultan, 8 September 2022 (TDI): Kairat Sarybay, Executive Director of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held a meeting with the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the Executive director of CICA shared the details of the preparation for the sixth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit.

In addition, he also mentioned the results of Kazakhstan’s chairpersonship of CICA from 2020 to 2022.

Earlier, in an interview with The Astana Times, Kairat Sarybay spoke about major milestones over the 30 years since the establishment of the forum.

He said, “Before becoming such a recognizable and reputable forum, the conference went through several stages of its institutional evolution.”

He also discussed the importance of CICA for the cause of international security and cooperation, major achievements during Kazakhstan’s chairpersonship, and the plans ahead of the sixth CICA Summit in October 2022.

Further, Executive Director Sarybay highlighted, “One of the first important milestones in the institutional transformation was the adoption of the foundational documents of CICA – the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations of 1999 and the Almaty Act of 2002.”

He added, “these two documents explicitly declared the determination of the CICA member states to create a common and indivisible security area in Asia and commitment to take necessary steps towards institutional development of CICA.”

According to the Director, the approval of the CICA catalog of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in 2004 and the establishment of the CICA secretariat in 2006 were also important stages that formed the basis for the operational activities of the forum.

Director Sarybay said, “the successful institutional development of CICA would not have been possible without the valuable contribution of its rotating chairpersonships, held consecutively by Kazakhstan, Türkiye, China, and Tajikistan, which were driving forces behind the CICA process.”

He said, “Kazakhstan’s latest chairmanship in 2020-2022 was recognized as a period where several important milestones were reached.”

The Director further mentioned that during Kazakhstan’s chairmanship, two new institutions of CICA have been created in 2021. This includes the renewed and institutionalized CICA Think Tank Forum (TTF) and CICA Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

Moreover, he said the catalog of CBMs was updated in 2021, which is another major achievement of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

The CBM Catalog is the key document of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia for practical implementation and the adoption of the general guidelines for conducting events related to CBM implementation.

Sarybay said that “the updated catalog has been adapted to new realities, including 18 priority areas within five dimensions of interaction.”

He added, “New priority areas of cooperation include epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals, security of and in the use of information, and communication technologies.”

Noting that the transformation of CICA into a full-fledged international organization was declared the strategic goal of Kazakhstan, Director Sarybay said,  “Systematic work was done by the chairmanship and the secretariat in the development of the concept of transformation on the basis of broad consultations with all member states.”

Talking about the main added value of CICA in contributing to international security and cooperation, Director Sarybay stressed that “threats and challenges to security do not recognize borders, whether this is about terrorism, poverty, pandemic or natural disasters.”

He added, “Such a comprehensive approach to security determines the unique feature of CICA – its broad agenda and holistic approach to promoting peace, security, stability, and prosperity in Asia.”

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According to Executive Director Sarybay, the main added value of CICA is “its consensus-based multilateral approach to security, broad geography with the potential to cover the entire Asian continent, comprehensive agenda, and rich toolkit.”

“All these make the forum stand out among other international and regional organizations and enable it to contribute to global and regional security in its own unique way,” he added.

Sarybay also spoke about the preparatory work for the upcoming Sixth Summit which is planned to be held in October in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

He added that he hoped that the process for transforming CICA into an organization would be launched at the upcoming summit and would “contribute to strengthening the global role of Asia and the transition to a new level of cooperation among the member states.”

Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia was established on October 5, 1992, and will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.

Today, it is a multilateral platform for pan-Asian dialogue and cooperation, uniting 27 member states, nine observer states, and five partner organizations.