Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s participation in a meeting of foreign ministers of countries that are parties to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
On April 28, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the 5th meeting of foreign ministers of countries that are parties to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Beijing.
National heads of state and government, as well as foreign ministers of member countries, gather every four years for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In September 2012, Astana hosted the previous ministerial meeting involving Mr Lavrov. In May 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin represented Russia at the Shanghai summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Meeting participants are to exchange opinions on such topical issues as solidifying efforts to maintain regional security, combating the growing threat of international terrorism and other challenges to peace and stability in Asia, maintaining dialogue and cooperation between member states for the purpose of creating a favourable situation conducive to sustained regional development. The ministers are also to discuss current affairs and prospects for strengthening practical cooperation within the forum’s format. A resolution will be drafted to reflect the results of the discussion.
We view CICA as a useful mechanism for both multilateral cooperation and the implementation of confidence-building measures in the military, political, economic, environmental and humanitarian spheres and as well as in the area of overcoming new challenges and threats. We share the desire of China, the current CICA president, and other partners to expand practical cooperation. We are becoming actively involved in implementing action plans aimed at the realisation of military-political confidence-building measures and at combating illicit drug trafficking. We support the work of the CICA Youth Council.
Russia advocates expanded cooperation between CICA, regional organisations and forums in line with network diplomacy. The concerned parties have signed memoranda of understandings with the International Organisation for Migration, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as between CICA and SCO secretariats. They are also studying the possibility of signing a protocol between the CICA Secretariat and the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
Russia has been coordinating cooperation inside CICA’s economic dimension since 2007. In 2015, the CICA Business Council was established at Russia’s initiative. In early 2016, the concerned parties approved an action plan in the area of developing small and medium-sized businesses for 2016−2018 that was drafted by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. Proposals for the organisation of the actual implementation of these plans are in the drafting stage. In November 2015, Russian representatives attended the 4th CICA business forum in Beijing.
In 1992, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested that the CICA be established. This multilateral mechanism aims to promote dialogue and to draft practical confidence-building measures in political, security, economic and humanitarian spheres. In 2014, China assumed the presidency of CICA. The Secretariat which is located in Astana, Kazakhstan, provides administrative and technical support for the forum’s work.
CICA includes 26 states – Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrein, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Qatar, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Belarus, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ukraine, the United States, the Philippines, Sri Lankan, Japan, the UN, the Arab League, the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries have observer status.