Statement by CICA Executive Director at seminar of CICA military experts
Meeting of CICA Military Experts Astana, 14-15 October 2014 Statement by CICA Executive Director
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, On behalf of the CICA Secretariat, I will like to welcome you to this first ever meeting of CICA military experts after adoption of CICA confidence building measures in military-political dimension. I will also like to express my gratitude to the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan for taking this initiative as well as for the excellent arrangements for the meeting. As you are well aware, the basic objective of CICA is to enhance cooperation through elaborating multilateral approaches to security in Asia. This objective is sought to be achieved through dialogue and consultations and by taking tangible measures on security issues in Asia. In the contemporary world of 21st century, classical approach to security rests upon the premise that security should be comprehensive and not restricted only to military aspect. At the same time, without cooperation in military and political areas, it is not possible to have a meaningful security environment. While our Heads of State and Government agreed in the Almaty Act that all aspects of comprehensive security in Asia, including its military-political, economic, human and environmental dimensions and are interdependent and interrelated and should be pursued actively; there was a clear understanding that political and military aspects were paramount for peace and security in Asia. There can be absolutely no doubt that a common and indivisible area of security in Asia envisaged in Almaty Act is not possible without confidence building measures in military-political dimension. That is why the chapter on confidence building measures in the Almaty Act refers gives prominence to political and military aspects. The pre-eminence of military-political dimension is reiterated also in the CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures. The catalogue lists ten specific measures in this dimension. It may be mentioned that some of the measures included in the dimension of new threats and challenges in the catalogue, like weapons of mass destruction are also military-political in nature. Military-political CBMs are vital for creating an environment of mutual trust among CICA member states leading to peace and stability in the region. Mutual trust in military-political arena will also lead to enhanced cooperation in fighting scourges of terrorism, separatism and illicit drugs, which are posing major threat to the CICA region. Transparency and openness are equally important for reducing mistrust and building confidence among the member states. Military-political CBMs included in the Catalogue of CICA CBMs aim to create environment of trust through sharing of information; better understanding of mutual concerns with enhanced contacts among military personnel; and mechanisms for consultations. These CBMs are not intrusive and impose no restrictions on member states. Implementation of these measures will encourage moves for common and indivisible security with clear understanding that security of one country is closely linked with security of other countries in the region. Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, During the first phase of implementation of CICA CBMs, focus was mainly on CBMs in economic, environmental and human dimensions and fight against new threats and challenges. Substantial progress has already been made in these areas. After considerable deliberations, member states agreed in January 2013 to implement four modest measures in military-political dimension. Unfortunately, even for these modest measures, progress has been rather slow. Very few member states have shared CVs of their top military personnel and only Republic of Kazakhstan has twice organised visits to military facilities. I would appeal to all the member states to not only take steps to implement these four measures but also agree upon additional measures included in the catalogue. Meaningful security cooperation among CICA Member States will substantially contribute to the much needed new Asian security architecture. Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, I wish you a very meaningful meeting today and fruitful visit to Military facilities of the Republic of Kazakhstan tomorrow. Recommendations made by the military experts will be duly considered by forthcoming meetings of CICA Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee which are scheduled to be held early next month.