Statement of Deputy Minister of Defence of Kazakhstan at seminar of CICA military experts
International Seminar on military-political dimension
Statement of Major General T. Mukhtarov, Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Astana, 14 October 2014
Distinguished Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat, Ambassador Gong Jianwei! Your Excellencies, generals and officers, ladies and gentlemen!
At the outset, allow me, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan to welcome all participants of the Seminar on military-political dimension of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
The proposal for convening the CICA was first made by H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in October 1992 at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. In his statement, President Nazarbayev mentioned that: "... the essence of the initiative lies in the aspiration to resume earlier failed attempts to create an effective and universal structure for ensuring peace on the Asian continent, where, in contrast to other regions of the world, such mechanism has not yet formed ...".
In the Declaration of the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, adopted by the Heads of State in Shanghai 21 May 2014, it was emphasized that: “…the world is undergoing extensive and continuous changes; the trend towards multi-polarity and economic globalization is gaining momentum; countries are becoming more inter-dependent; multilateralism and democracy are increasingly important for the international community; traditional and non-traditional security challenges threaten regional and global peace and stability…”. Joint Russian-Chinese initiative on strengthening security in the Asia-Pacific region, launched in 2011, notes that the proliferating threats and challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region require further efforts of all countries of the region towards maintenance of regional security and stability.
CICA is an international forum on strengthening cooperation aimed at ensuring peace, security and stability in Asia.
Catalogue of CICA confidence-building measures, adopted by Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 22 October 2004, includes multifarious agreed measures in the military-political, economic, human and other dimensions, which are the basic instruments to overcome differences and build confidence.
This document gives us the opportunity of mutually beneficial cooperation and good neighborly relations in the entire Asian continent.
One of the priorities of the CICA is a practical realization of the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes and confidence-building measures in the military-political dimension. Over several years issues of interaction among Member States of the Conference in the military-political dimension were not discussed due to lack of consensus and common understanding on their implementation. That is why, this seminar, as well as a number of activities carried out by Kazakhstan side within the framework of CICA military-political dimension, is additional contribution towards forming a shared vision for implementation of military-political component of the Conference.
Republic of Kazakhstan is Member of a number of regional and international treaties and agreements and attaches great importance to implementation of arms control regimes and confidence building measures and security in military-political dimension.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that the Ministry of Defense is working in this area: - In the structure of Ministry there is a division engaged the practical implementation of the international obligations of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of arms control and confidence building measures; - Meetings, seminars, courses with the participation of military and diplomatic representatives of Member States of international treaties and agreements on arms control and confidence-building measures are organized on its facilities on annual basis; - Secure Internet communication lines, operating round the clock, were established for operative and secure exchange of information between Member States; - Exchange of military information with other States within the framework of international treaties, to which Republic of Kazakhstan is a party, is carried out annually. - Exchange of military information with other states within the framework of international treaties to which Kazakhstan is a party is being carried out annually.
In accordance with the CICA Catalogue, confidence building measures are being applied on a gradual and voluntary basis and are prescriptive in nature.
As a first step in military-political direction, the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan organized visit to a major military institution of our country – the Military Institute of Land Forces in Almaty in February 2012. The programme of the event included a briefing by the leadership of the Military Institute, familiarization with academic process, facilities and infrastructure of the Institute. It is necessary to note that the meeting of the voluntary group and visit to the Military Institute took place with direct assistance of the CICA Secretariat under the Chairmanship of the Republic of Turkey, to which we are grateful for the support for our first steps in this direction. The aim of the meeting was to have primary and, I stress, voluntary discussion of issues of confidence building measures for implementing one of the most important and most sensitive military-political dimension. The fact that more than 30 representatives from 15 Member States took part in the event bears evidence of the interest which the Parties had in conducting direct dialogue on the entire specter of security dimensions. The next step towards implementation of confidence building measures in military-political dimension was the proposal of Kazakhstan to start with four simple and acceptable confidence building measures set forth in the Catalogue. As is known, these measures were adopted by Member States of the Conference by silence procedure on 15 January 2013 and included in the document Implementation of confidence building measures in Military-Political dimension. It is necessary to note that Member States agreed to implement these measures on the voluntary and gradual principles and only by those states that are in a position to do so. And finally, the third step which we undertook in the military-political dimension was to invite observers from CICA Member States to visit military facilities, air bases and airborne assault brigade in September 2013 held within the framework of OSCE military-political dimension.
In March 2014 in Chiang Rai in Thailand, at the meetings of Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee our delegation proposed to hold this workshop.
Thus, realizing that that military-political dimension is a sensitive issue in the relations between some Member States of the Conference we observe the principle of gradualness and voluntariness and implement activities aimed at bringing consensus among our countries and overcoming barriers of mistrust and alienation. As the old Kazakh proverb says: A long journey starts with small steps.
During our meeting we will make a number of presentations about the activity of the Ministry of Defence on implementation of international treaties and agreements in the field of arms control and strengthening of confidence building measures, briefings on the structure and tasks of Armed Forces as well as our vision of prospects of military-political dimension of the CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures.
Let me express my sincere gratitude to distinguished participants for accepting our invitation to participate in the workshop.
Availing myself of this opportunity I would like to congratulate Ambassador Gong Jianwei for his appointment to the post of the CICA Executive Director and wish him fruitful work in this uneasy field.
I would like to wish you successful and fruitful work.