Statement of Ambassador Gong Jianwei, Executive Director
CICA Day Reception 2014 Statement of Ambassador Gong Jianwei, Executive Director
Astana, 6 October 2014
Your Excellency Mr. Erlan Idrissov, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen!
It is a great honour for me to welcome you all on the happy occasion of the CICA Day. It was on 5th October 1992 that H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan made the proposal to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. As a tribute to the efforts of President Nazarbayev, CICA Heads of State and Government decided at the Second Summit in 2006 to observe 5th October as CICA Day every year. In last twenty two years CICA has evolved into a vibrant forum for promoting regional cooperation and constructive interactions among its member states. During this period, CICA has gone through a long evolutionary process from a proposal for establishing peace and security in Asia to a practical mechanism of collective diplomacy. Four summits held in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 ushered in new mechanisms for maintenance of peace and security in the continent. Membership of CICA has risen from 16 in 2002 to 26 this year. CICA member states account for nearly ninety percent of the area and population of Asia. The institutionalization phase in the CICA’s evolution was completed in 2006 with the establishment of the Secretariat. We now have an efficiently functioning Secretariat and Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee are meeting on regular basis to discuss important issues including implementation of Confidence Building Measures. The highly successful Fourth CICA Summit held in Shanghai on 21 May this year was a watershed in the history of CICA. This was one of the largest gatherings of Asian Heads of State and Government. People’s Republic of China assumed Chairmanship of CICA at the Summit. It will be endeavour of the Chinese Chairmanship to carry the CICA process forward in close cooperation with all the Member States. The preamble of Almaty Act, the charter of CICA, mentions that ultimate aim of CICA is to create a common and indivisible area of security in Asia where all states peacefully co-exist, and their peoples live in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity. While CICA has been moving towards achieving this aim at a steady pace, President Xi Jinping has sought to accelerate the pace by proposing a new Asian Security Concept in his address to the Fourth CICA Summit in Shanghai. The new concept, encompassing the four basic principles of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, received support from a number of member states at the summit. It is our earnest hope that all the member states will work together to adopt and implement the new security concept with a view to achieving the ultimate objective of CICA. In the increasingly globalised contemporary world, comprehensive and sustainable security cannot be seen only from the prism of military-political cooperation. Comprehensive security includes economic development, ethno-religious congeniality and countering new threats and challenges. Asia is today facing a number of new threats and challenges, such as international terrorism, trans-national organised crime, religious extremism, drug trafficking, illegal migration, etcetera. Environmental degradation is a serious problem. Economic cooperation within CICA region needs to be further enhanced. There are also cultural, ethnic, religious and historical differences to overcome for which it is necessary to have enhanced dialogue among civilizations and increased interaction among the peoples of the region. CICA seeks to address these issues through active cooperation among the member states and implementation of confidence building measures in military-political, economic, environmental and human dimensions as well as in countering new threats and challenges. CICA is one of the youngest and most and ambitious groupings, especially in terms of the range of issues it seeks to address. CICA region is also one of the most diverse regions and has multiple flash points that have been in existence for historical and other reasons. The fact that CICA is in a position to reconcile the diverse concerns and is able to take tangible steps for common benefit of all the member states and their peoples, bears testimony to the commitment of our leaders to the CICA process. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Relocation of CICA Secretariat from Almaty to Astana has started recently and is expected to be completed soonest possible. I will like to express my gratitude to H.E. Mr. Erlan Idrissov for his support for relocation of the Secretariat. We will now be in a position to have more frequent and meaningful interaction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassies of the member states for taking the CICA process to new heights. I will conclude by extending my felicitations on the occasion of the CICA Day and best wishes for your well-being and prosperity.