Statement by H.E. Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
CICA Day Reception 2014 Statement by H.E. Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Astana, 6 October 2014
Your excellencies, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you all for being here today. I am delighted to see that so many have come to celebrate the 22th anniversary of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In 1992, President Nursultan Nazarbayev put forward the idea of CICA at the 47th Session of the UN General Assembly. 22 years later, the CICA is one of the leading and most unique forums in Asia. It has united 26 Member States, while seven other states and four international organizations are observers. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to CICA Member States for their support and efforts over the past 20 years in promoting the ideals of the CICA in Asia and in the world. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Turkey as the previous chairman, and to the People’s Republic of China as the new one. With China as the new Chair, the CICA has begun a new chapter of development based on providing sustainable security and cooperation for Asia. Kazakhstan supports China’s initiatives of developing and adopting a new Asia security concept. A concept based on a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable regional security. We hope that this new concept will clear the way for us to consolidate the CICA and transform it into an Organization for Security and Development in Asia. Such a structure will strengthen Asian regional security for us all. Ladies and gentlemen, The need for a strong regional security structure has never been more apparent. Today, we witness sweeping changes in the existing world order. Our world is becoming less secure. New challenges and threats are emerging. The principles of international law are being violated. As we gather together, a deadly outbreak of Ebola is spreading across West Africa, killing thousands of people and causing devastation. The evil militants of ISIL and Al Qaeda are murdering innocent civilians and causing a huge flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq. A brutal civil war in Syria has already killed nearly 200,000 people and forced millions of Syrians to flee their homes. The persistent failure of the Palestinian – Israel peace process continues to stoke tensions across the entire region.. The fragile truce in Ukraine is shaking and the situation threatens to aggravate further a social and economic situation in that country and its neighbors. So there are enormous challenges. But each crisis encourages the international community to work together to overcome them. To use the regional and global security apparatus in place to confront challenges. And each challenge brings the CICA member states closer together. We don’t hide from the challenges or recoil at the scale of the problems. Instead the CICA has a history of stepping up our cooperation and developing practical solutions. For example, The Member States adopted the CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations. Where there is a need to strengthen cooperation with other leading international organizations, the CICA acts. For example, the CICA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SCO. But even with our increased cooperation, there are still many traditional and non-traditional security challenges that threaten our regional peace and stability. The political situation in Afghanistan is one of them. While we hail the presidential election in Afghanistan, which is an important step toward a peaceful transfer of power in the country, the security challenges remain a concern. Signing a long delayed bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States gives us a hope that the new government will improve security situation in the country. Ladies and gentlemen, The CICA is a forum based on the recognition of the close links between peace, security and stability in Asia and the rest of the world. We believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation. We have set out practical ways to achieve this under five themes: military-political, economic, environmental, human and the fight against new threat and challenges. We appreciate Member States for their help in promoting and strengthening cooperation in these themes. In the human sphere, the CICA established the Youth and Business Councils. Under the banner of economic cooperation, the CICA held three Business Forums in Bangkok, Istanbul and Yekaterinburg. Our military-political cooperation will be strengthened by the meeting of CICA military experts in Astana next week. Ladies and gentlemen, The fourth CICA Summit in Shanghai brought together leaders and representatives from 47 countries and international organizations. The Shanghai Declaration adopted by the Member States was designed toward creating a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia based on mutual trust. The existence of this Forum is a unique chance for Member States to resolve their differences peacefully, and find resolutions to problems together. We consider each Member State of the CICA as part of one big family living in the house named Asia with dignity and a sense of justice. As a Chinese proverb says, “If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” We support the Chinese initiative for a new Asian security concept; and we support China’s efforts to upgrade the CICA by strengthening its effectiveness and raising its profile. To help achieve this, we propose to increase the frequency of contacts among Member States on different levels by establishing a decision-making body in Astana where regular meetings can take place. There is a need to provide sufficient conference service and assist states in the implementation of CICA decisions and measures. We need to boost the executive function of the Secretariat by creating a support unit. We want to create institutions and bodies focusing on specific topics within the framework the CICA. We believe these steps toward strengthening the role of the CICA in the Asian region could bring mutual benefits for all Member States. Ladies and gentlemen, Our desire to strengthen the powers of the CICA is not driven by security challenges alone. The expansion of economic cooperation in Asia is another key factor. Today Asia is home to 67% of the world’s population and accounts for one third of the global economy. Six Asian countries are members of the Group of 20 leading economies in the world. Economic development of our region determines global trends. But today, many international institutions and organizations created to avoid and mitigate the negative impact of the financial crisis are not able to take effective measures to overcome such challenges. As a result of the dramatic consequences of the world economic crisis in 2012, the President of Kazakhstan proposed the G-Global initiative. This initiative, based on five principals, could form the basis of a future development of the world economy. The G-GLOBAL project is a tool to find effective resolutions of global and regional conflicts. A good example is food security. Declining food supplies is a vital issue in Asia. To overcome it, comprehensive efforts of all states in the region are required. This includes the need to design concrete CICA mechanisms related to food production. It includes providing access of agricultural production to Asian markets. For the agricultural sector, as well as other industries, the key factor is creation of effective transport infrastructure. President Xi Jinping’s idea to revive the Silk Road is a good idea to solve these problems. Such an initiative will benefit Asian countries and will serve as a bridge between Asia and Europe. With the growth of the global economy, the problem of access to modern technology and energy resources is becoming increasingly urgent. By the year 2020, energy imports to Asian countries will reach 80%. These facts have contributed to Kazakhstan’s determination to be a proactive provider of global energy. At the same time, it is essential to focus on alternative energy sources and the development of environmentally friendly technologies. Astana will host the international specialized exhibition EXPO 2017 on the theme of Future Energy. We invite the member states to take an active part in its work. Ladies and gentlemen, As we extend CICA membership and hold more regular consultations, the CICA will take on more responsibility and will strengthen its institutions. Ultimately, we believe that the process of CICA’s transformation will bring us to establishing a new institution as per President Nazarbayev’s proposal: the Organization for Security and Development in Asia. Only by working together, with true equality and partnership of all CICA Member States, regardless of their level of political and economic development or geographic location, can we achieve peace and security for all – a peace which is free from fear and violence and meets the needs of future generations.