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Statement of ED Approaches to the better security architectures (5-th Xiangshan forum. Nov 22. Bejing, China)

The 5th Xiangshan Forum, Beijing, 20-22 November 2014

Statement by Ambassador Gong Jianwei CICA Executive Director

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

    I would like to express my gratitude to the China Association of Military Science for inviting me to the Fifth Xiangshan Forum and allowing me to make a presentation on Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, better known by its acronym of CICA. This is the first time CICA is participating in the Xiangshan Forum. This will allow CICA to more actively participate in creating a new security architecture in Asia.
    In my presentation, I will be covering basic principles and objectives of CICA and its efforts to create a better regional security structure.
    CICA is a multilateral forum for promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It is the only structure of its kind with the objective of developing a common and indivisible area of security in Asia where all states co-exist peacefully and their peoples live in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity
    Twenty six Member States of CICA cover nearly ninety percent of the area and population of Asia. Its membership profile extends from Turkey in the west to Republic of Korea in the east and includes countries in Eurasia, Middle East, and almost all parts of rest of Asia.
Founding documents of CICA are “Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States” of 1999 and “The Almaty Act” of 2002. These documents set the basic framework for the relations between the Member States, the objectives of the Conference and its functioning.
    In the Guiding Principles, CICA Member States have affirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; resolve to prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes and conflicts; and determination for joint efforts to enhance confidence and cooperation in the interest of stability, economic and social development in the region and the world.
    In the Almaty Act, the Member States have expressed their commitment to enhance cooperation through elaborating multilateral approaches to security; and to develop CICA as a forum for dialogue and consultations and elaborate measures on security issues in Asia. Other objectives of CICA include combating new threats and challenges, promoting economic cooperation, addressing environmental and humanitarian issues and preventing proliferation and eventual elimination of weapons of mass destruction. CICA aims to achieve these objectives through implementation of confidence building measures among the Member States.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,
    Asia is ethnically and culturally the most diverse continent, having some of the largest and the smallest countries with significantly different levels of development and varying priorities. Asia has experienced some of the most disastrous conflicts of the post second world war era and still continues to face multiple flash points with significant conflict potentials that have been in existence for historical and other reasons. There are also cultural, ethnic, religious and historical differences to overcome.
    What distinguishes CICA from other similar structures is the awareness that there are no tailor-made magical solutions to the problems faced by Asia. Keeping this in mind, founding members of CICA reached an understanding right at the initial stages that existing discords in the region should not be an obstacle to finding common approaches to the problems concerning security and cooperation in the region. The fact that this approach has been widely accepted is reflected by the fact that membership of CICA has risen from 15 to 26 in last few years.
    We are all aware that in the contemporary world, security no longer emanates primarily from military superiority or quality of weapons systems. Instead, comprehensive security has come to be increasingly seen as an all inclusive term, encompassing inter-dependent and inter-related elements like political and military aspects; economic and environmental issues; and humanitarian and cultural cooperation.
    This concept of comprehensive security is duly recognised in CICA and the Member States of CICA are implementing Confidence Building Measures in the following five areas: (i) military-political dimension; (ii) fight against new challenges and threats including terrorism, drug trafficking, trans-national crime and human trafficking; (iii) economic dimension; (iv) environmental dimension; and (v) human dimension.
    While CICA has embarked on implementation of confidence building measures in five broad areas with a view to enhancing comprehensive security in the region, basic security issues are at the heart of CICA’s future plans. The changing political and security environment of the 21st Century has opened new avenues for common efforts in the field of security. Cooperation has become a key word in bringing together states with different values and divergent interests. CICA member states are striving to work together to accommodate different interests and enhance security.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,
    China assumed Chairmanship of CICA in May this year at the Fourth Summit in Shanghai; and is fully committed to create a better security architecture in Asia through the medium of CICA. President Xi Jinping presented a new Asian Security Concept at the Summit with a view to creating a regional security cooperation architecture. Today, security has become a comprehensive, cross-border and cross-sector issue. It is no longer akin to building up military capabilities to deter other countries. Security of one country is intrinsically linked to security of other countries. The new security concept takes this reality into account and encompasses the four basic principles of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
    The new concept espouses that countries should promote common security by respecting and ensuring each other’s security concerns at an equal footing and in an inclusive manner. Security should be comprehensive and should address both traditional and non-traditional challenges. Countries should cooperate in addressing both, the symptoms and root causes of common security challenges like terrorism, transnational crime, illicit drug production and trafficking, cyber security etcetera. Since there is undeniable linkage between development and security, countries should adopt a coordinated approach towards economic development to ensure sustainable security. We are hopeful that all CICA Member States will work together to make the new concept a reality and create a better security architecture in Asia.

Thank you for your attention!


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