The initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was taken by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of newly independent Kazakhstan during his address at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 5, 1992.President Nazarbayev underlined that the idea at the heart of the initiative was to re-start previously abortive efforts to create the efficacious and universal structure to safeguard security in Asia. The idea was to move towards a unified Asian structure for collective security on a stage-by-stage basis.
Proposal of President Nazarbayev immediately received support from a number of Asian countries as well as from the United Nations and the process of convening the Conference took off. During the first phase of the evolution of CICA (1992 – 94), Kazakhstan organized three meetings of the representatives of foreign ministries of Asian states interested in CICA. The first meeting with 12 participants was held in April 1993; the second meeting with 28 participants was held in August-September 1993; and the third meeting with 29 participants was held in October 1994. The main achievement of the first phase was an understanding that existing discords in the region could not be an obstacle to finding common approaches to the problems concerning security and cooperation among the states.
During the second phase (1995 – 99), a Special Working Group (SWG) was established to make preparation for the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the states interested in convening the Conference. The first meeting of the SWG took place in March 1995. Participating states were represented at the level of Ambassadors and experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. In the various sessions of the SWG during 1995-99, drafts of the basic CICA documents such as "The Rule of Procedures", "Declaration on the Principles", "CICA Structure and Institutes" were considered.
Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of 23 Asian countries met in Almaty on February 7-8, 1996 to further elaborate on the basic principles and documents of CICA. The participants agreed that the development of CICA process needed long term joint efforts of all the interested states. On December 3, 1997 the second meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the interested states was held. Representatives from 27 countries and international organizations took part.
The international colloquium "Asian Security in the Context of Convening CICA", held in Almaty October 21-22, 1998, was an important moment in the development of CICA. The heads of leading think-tanks, research centers and institutions from 16 countries of Asia, Europe and the USA took part in the colloquium. The main goal of this event was to exchange opinions on all aspects of Asian security with an emphasis on pursuing the idea of creating a regional security system.
In January-February 1999, bilateral consultations were held in the capitals of some of the interested Memberstates. During these consultations, agreements were reached on the rapprochement of varying positions of the participants concerning some of the provisions of the Declaration on Guiding Principles.
First Ministerial Meeting
The First Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Almaty on September 14, 1999 with participation of fifteen member states: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Representatives of the then Observer States: USA, Japan, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Ukraine, and International Organizations like UN and OSCE also participated in the meeting.
The First Ministerial Meeting laid the foundation of CICA with the signing of the Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between CICA Member States by the Ministers. The Ministers, while reaffirming commitment to the United Nations Charter, agreed that the Memberstates will respect each other’s sovereign equality; refrain from the threat or use of force; respect the territorial integrity of each other; settle disputes in accordance with the Declaration, UN Charter and international law; refrain from any intervention in the internal affairs of each other; reaffirm their commitment to the goal of achieving general and complete disarmament under effective control; enhance the process of economic, social and cultural cooperation; and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals.
Following the First Ministerial Meeting and adoption of declaration of guiding principles, work began on preparation for the First CICA Summit. Three sessions of the SWG were held on April 12-14, 2000; March 26-31, 2001; and June 4-9, 2001 respectively to finalize the summit documents. During the third meeting of the SWG, Mongolia signed the declaration of guiding principles raising the member ship of CICA to sixteen. In between, an international seminar on "The ways and methods of implementation of Declaration of principles guiding relations between CICA Member States” was held on June 15-17, 2000. The objective of the seminar was to elaborate and exchange opinions on the content of the document to be signed by Heads of State/Government during the summit. The first summit was originally scheduled to be held on November 8-10, 2001 but was postponed on account of developments following September 11, 2001 events.
The First CICA Summit was eventually held in Almaty on June 4, 2002 with participation of the Heads of State/Government of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan; and Special Envoys of the Heads of State/Government of Egypt, Iran, Israel and Palestine. The Summit was also attended by the representatives of the Observer States and Organizations. The Summit adopted the most important constitutive document of CICA – the Almaty Act, which acts as the Charter of CICA. Within a short span of ten years after initiation of the idea, CICA became a full fledged functioning forum for dialogue and for seeking mutually acceptable measures for resolving problems and conflicts in the region.
Almaty Act explicitly declared the determination of the member states to form in Asia a common and indivisible area of security, where all states co-exist peacefully, and their peoples live in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity. Other salient features of Almaty Act included spelling out of the objectives; espousal of basic principles; commitment to implement confidence building measures aimed at enhancing co-operation and creating an atmosphere of peace, confidence and friendship; and creation of necessary structure and institutions for efficient functioning of CICA.
Heads of State/Government agreed that the member states would prepare a CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures and proceed on a gradual basis for implementation of its provisions. They also agreed to the establishment of CICA Secretariat for providing follow-up and administrative support for regular meetings and political consultations and other activities mentioned in the Almaty Act, and tasked Ministers of Foreign Affairs to finalise the elaboration of all aspects relating to setting up of the Secretariat.
The second document adopted at the Summit was CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations. In this comprehensive document, Memberstates condemned all forms and manifestations of terrorism and committed themselves to fighting terrorism and strengthening bilateral, regional and international cooperation required to meet this challenge, in accordance with the UN Charter. The member states also declared that terrorism could not be attributed to any religion, nationality, or civilization and reaffirmed their full support for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Dialogue among Civilizations.
Second Ministerial Meeting
The Second Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Almaty on October 22, 2004. At this meeting, CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), CICA Rules of Procedure and Declaration of CICA Ministerial Meeting were adopted. Thailand was admitted as the seventeenth member of CICA
CICA Rules of Procedure laid down ground rules for decision making, member ship, observer status, chairmanship, types of meetings and procedure for conducting meetings. One of the most important aspects of the Rules of Procedure is that decisions and recommendations at all levels are taken by consensus. Rules of Procedure were amended by a decision adopted on September 1, 2009. With this amendment, period of Chairmanship was reduced from four years to two years. It was also decided that the member state hosting regular Summit would be Chairman till the next regular meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The member state hosting the regular meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs would be Chairman till the next regular Summit.
Declaration of the Second Ministerial Meeting included assessment of the situation at that time at the regional and global levels including Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, South Caucasus, and Korean peninsula. Member states once again condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations and reiterated their commitment to fight this menace.
The Second CICA Summit was held in Almaty on June 17, 2006 with participation of the Heads of State/Government of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan and Special Envoys of the Heads of State/Government of Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Mongolia, Palestine, Turkey and Republic of Korea which was admitted as the eighteenth member of CICA.
The Second Summit adopted the Statute of CICA Secretariat and Declaration of the Second CICA Summit. The Declaration of the Second CICA Summit reflected the general view of the member states on key problems of security and cooperation in Asia and in other parts of the world. The Declaration also reiterated the desire of the member states to continue the efforts to move forward CICA process to achieve its shared objectives; and noted with satisfaction that the establishment of CICA Secretariat in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan was an important milestone in the evolution of CICA process. It was also decided to mark October 5 as CICA Day to commemorate the initiation of the proposal for convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia by H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1992.
Third Ministerial Meeting
The Third Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Almaty on August 25, 2008. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and United Arab Emirates were admitted to CICA on this occasion taking the member ship to twenty. State of Qatar was conferred the status of observer.
The Declaration of the Ministerial Meeting, titled CICA Progress in Implementation of CBMs, reaffirmed the importance of promoting CICA as a multilateral forum for close cooperation; continuous dialogue and interaction; comprehensive exchange of views; addressing new challenges and threats; facilitating prevention of conflicts; peaceful settlement of disputes; as well as for developing and implementing agreed Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the Asian continent. The Ministers welcomed commencement of implementation of CBMs and appreciated the efforts of coordinating and co-coordinating countries in the process.
The Ministers also reviewed the tasks given by the Heads of State and Government at the Second CICA Summit of 2006 and adopted Conclusions of the Third Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs reflecting the results of the work done by the Memberstates in order to accomplish the tasks given at the Second Summit and to continue the work towards preparations for the Third CICA Summit in 2010. The Ministers adopted the Protocol Amending the Statute of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia which provides for shifting of CICA Secretariat from Almaty to Astana as and when need arises. The Ministers also adopted, in principle, Convention on the Legal Capacity of CICA Secretariat, its Personnel and their Privileges and Immunities and urged the Memberstates to finalize their respective internal procedures with a view to sign it at the earliest possible.
The Third CICA Summit was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 8 June 2010 with participation of the Heads of State/Government of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and Turkey; Deputy Heads of State/Government of Iraq and Vietnam; and Special Envoys of China, Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Tajikistan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Uzbekistan was the only member state that was not represented at the Summit. For the first time in the short history of CICA, Chairmanship passed from Kazakhstan to Turkey. Iraq and Vietnam were admitted as new members of CICA taking the membership to twenty two. Bangladesh was accorded the status of observer.
Summit adopted the declaration, Constructing cooperative approach to interaction and security in Asia and Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its Personnel and Representatives of Members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
The declaration reflected CICA’s stand and views on important issues of security and cooperation in Asia and other parts of the world including terrorism, disarmament, illicit drugs, global financial crisis, environment as well as situation in Afghanistan and Middle East. The declaration also reiterated commitment of the member states to carry forward the CICA process and reaffirmed the importance of initiating deliberations on security issues in accordance with the provisions of the CICA Catalogue of CBMs.
Convention, as the name suggests, deals with the privileges and immunities of CICA Secretariat, its personnel and representatives of the member states. Although the Convention was adopted unanimously at the Summit, representatives of only eleven member states signed it because other member states had not yet completed their internal procedures for signing it. The Convention will come into force after it is signed and ratified by at least fourteen member states.
CICA Secretariat was established in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan in June 2006 after adoption of the Statute of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia at the Second CICA Summit. Functions of the Secretariat specified in the Statute include: providing support for CICA meetings; maintenance of archive of CICA documents; acting as clearing house for the documents and information provided by the member states; disseminating information on CICA; disseminating information on the implementation of CBMs among member states; and performance of other tasks and duties assigned by the decision making bodies of CICA.
The Secretariat comprises of Executive Director nominated by the chairing Member State; Deputy Executive Director and Professional Personnel seconded by the Memberstates; and support personnel. Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director are appointed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs by consensus while member s of Professional Personnel are appointed by the Executive Director with the approval of the SOC. Support personnel are appointed by the Executive Director on contractual basis. List of Executive Directors and Deputy Executive Directors of the Secretariat since its inception is at Annexure – I.
Financial aspects of the Secretariat are governed by Financial Rules, which form integral part of the Statute of the Secretariat, and Financial Regulations adopted by the SOC on 14 December 2006. Financial Rules take primacy over the Financial Regulations. Terms of employment and other service conditions of the personnel of the Secretariat are governed by the Staff Regulations which came into effect from November 1, 2010. Prior to promulgation of Staff Regulations, terms of employment and service conditions of the support personnel were governed by the legislation of the host country, Kazakhstan.
The Host Country Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and CICA Secretariat regarding the Terms and Conditions of the Secretariat’s Location in the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan was signed on June 26, 2007 and ratified by Kazakhstan on March 20, 2009. At the time of adoption of the Statute of the Secretariat, it was decided that privileges and immunities of the Secretariat and its personnel on the territories of the member states would be determined by a separate agreement. Consequently, Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its Personnel and Representatives of Members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia was adopted at the Third Summit.
Expenditure on salary, etc. of the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and professional personnel is met by the respective sending states while expenditure on the working budget of the Secretariat, including salaries of the support personnel, is met by voluntary contributions from the member states. Kazakhstan has been contributing the bulk of funds to the budget. The table showing contributions made by the member states so far is at Annexure – II.
Although Statute of the CICA Secretariat was unanimously adopted and signed by the authorised Plenipotentiaries of all the eighteen Memberstates at the Second Summit, provisions of the Statute stipulate that it would come into force after ratification by at least two thirds (twelve) of the signatory Memberstates. So far eight member states, namely, Azerbaijan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Russia have ratified the Statute. Four more member states need to ratify the Statute before it comes into force. The Statute adopted in 2006 specified that the seat of the Secretariat would be in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan. This provision was amended by a Protocol adopted at the Third Ministerial Meeting in August 2008. The amendment specified that the seat of the Secretariat could be either in Almaty or in Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Fourteen member states have so far signed the Protocol.
Framework for CICA’s relations with other multilateral organizations and fora is laid down in the Guidelines for CICA’s External Relations adopted by the SOC at its meeting in Bangkok in March 14, 2007. The meetings of the SWG and SOC in Bangkok on March 12-14, 2007 were the first CICA events held outside Kazakhstan.
Memberstates recognized that with CICA embarking on implementation of confidence building measures, the initiation of contacts and links with regional and international organizations would not only support its efforts to enhance peace, security and economic development in Asia but also contribute to recognition of CICA in the international arena. It was also recognized that establishment of the Secretariat facilitated the creation of links between CICA and other fora and organizations in a productive and useful manner.
The first milestone in development of CICA’s external relations was conferment of observer status on CICA by the United Nations General Assembly at its 62nd session in 2007. CICA was represented, for the first time, by the Executive Director at the 63rd Session of the General Assembly in September 2008 and CICA symbols were presented to the United Nations. Executive Director also had meetings with high ranking officials of the UN Secretariat to brief them about CICA activities and explore possibility of cooperation between CICA and UN. It was recognized during these meetings that there was considerable scope for cooperation between CICA and UN in the areas of common interest. It was agreed that officials of the two Secretariats would jointly work on modalities of cooperation.
Following the Guidelines, CICA Secretariat signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Secretariats of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC); and Administration of International Organization for Migration (IOM) during the Third Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs on August 25, 2008. Senior Officials Committee, in its meeting in October 2007, also approved establishment of institutional level relations between CICA Secretariat and Secretariats of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SCO and SAARC are going through their respective internal procedures for formalizing the relations in the form of Memoranda of Understanding.
Fifteenth anniversary of the initiative to convene CICA was celebrated in Almaty in October 2007 with participation at the level of Deputy Ministers of the Memberstates. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Marat Tazhin, inaugurated the commemorative meeting of the Senior Officials Committee. The Minister also hosted a cultural programme and a banquet which were attended by CICA delegates and Ambassadors; and leading figures of Almaty. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, in association with CICA Secretariat, brought out a publication: Fifteenth Anniversary of CICA: through the prism of years. Kazakhstan also issued commemorative stamp and medal to mark the occasion. The occasion was widely covered by the print and visual media of Kazakhstan and other Memberstates.
CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES
Almaty Act recognised implementation of confidence building measures as a basic tool for achieving CICA objectives. Almaty Act also recognised that implementation of CBMs was likely to facilitate, or create a conducive climate for, the resolution of disputes and arms control agreements and gave a mandate for preparation of a “CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures” and proceed on a gradual basis for its implementation.
Catalogue of CBMs
CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures, adopted at the Second Ministerial Meeting, became the most important document of the forum after Guiding Principles and Almaty Act. It was for the first time in the history of the Asian continent that there was such a comprehensive document envisaging multilateral cooperation among states on wide range of issues relating to stability and security. Keeping in view the diversity in Asia the Catalogue underscores the importance of measures in military-political dimension as well as in economic, environmental and human dimensions.
Within the framework of the Catalogue, confidence building measures were divided into five broad categories, namely, military-political dimension; fight against new challenges and threats; economic dimension; environmental dimension; and human dimension. Primacy was given to confidence building measures in military-political dimension and fight against new challenges and threats. Under each of the five categories, specific measures for implementation were listed. The member states agreed to implement the confidence building measures on gradual and voluntary basis. It was also agreed that any member state could select certain measures identified in the Catalogue for implementation, where feasible and appropriate.
Although CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures was adopted at the second Ministerial Meeting in October 2004, there was no forward movement on implementation of CBMs for next thirty months because the Catalogue did not lay down the modalities for implementation. This handicap was overcome with the adoption of Cooperative Approach for the implementation of CICA CBMs by the Senior Officials Committee (SOC) at its meeting in Bangkok on March 14, 2007.
The Cooperative Approach generally followed the letter and spirit of the Catalogue but there was one important deviation. In the Cooperative Approach, implementation of CBMs in military-political dimension did not find any mention whereas this category was given a place of prominence in the Catalogue. During the course of discussions on the Cooperative Approach, some of the member states felt that the time was not yet ripe for implementation of CBMs in military-political dimension. It was agreed that member states should first concentrate on socio-economic dimensions and fighting new challenges and threat; and military-political dimension would be taken up at a later stage.
Cooperative Approach offers two alternate modalities for implementation of CBMs. In the first modality, a member state may express its interest to coordinate or co-coordinate implementation of a specific CBM. Thereafter, the volunteering country/countries prepare a draft Concept Paper which is considered at SWG and, if agreed, submitted to SOC for further consideration and approval. In the second modality, a member state may wish to exchange views on a particular CBM via CICA Chairman and Secretariat as a first step. The Secretariat would then compile the information provided by the member states and establish a database. The Secretariat would provide logistical support for organizing specialized meetings in the member or observer states with the participation of experts and academicians to address the core of the issues and tasking the eligible experts to produce a working paper.Working paper would then be considered in the SWG and later in the SOC for further elaboration and decision.
In actual practice, the modality being followed is a combination of abovementioned two modalities. Member states volunteer to act as coordinators or co-coordinators for specific CBMs. The coordinating country presents a draft concept paper and/or action plan which is circulated among the member states and subsequently discussed at a meeting of experts. The draft finalized at the meeting of experts is considered by the SWG and, if agreed, submitted to SOC for final approval.
Implementation of Confidence Building Measures
The process of implementation of confidence building measures began with adoption of Cooperative Approach. At the time of adoption of Cooperative Approach, seven member states volunteered to coordinate CBMs in nine specific areas. Subsequently, four more member states offered to co-coordinate some of the CBMs. While there was sufficient interest among the member states in coordinating or co-coordinating CBMs in Human and Economic dimensions; and in the area of New Challenges and Threats, no member state came forward to coordinate CBMs in Environmental dimension at the time of adoption of Cooperative Approach. At the Third Ministerial Meeting, Mongolia offered to consider coordinating CBMs in Environmental dimension and confirmed its intention at the SWG and SOC Meetings in New Delhi on February 18-20, 2009. The list of coordinators and co-coordinators with specific areas of CBMs is attached as Annexure - III
The latest position with regard to implementation of CBMs in specific areas is given in the following paragraphs.
Kazakhstan offered to act as coordinator for CBMs in human dimension. Kazakhstan circulated draft concept paper and action plan for implementation of CICA CBMs in human dimension in May 2007 and hosted an Experts Meeting in Astana on June 27, 2007 for finalizing the two drafts. This was the first ever CICA Experts Meeting. The drafts finalized at experts meeting were considered by SWG and SOC in their meetings on October 15-17, 2007. After due deliberations, Senior Officials Committee approved the Concept Paper and Action Plan for Implementation of CICA CBMs in Human Dimension on October 17, 2007. Action plan listed ten activities including seminars on religious harmony; joint archeological expeditions; cooperation among museums and libraries; conferences/workshops on historic and cultural heritage; and cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology.
It was agreed during the deliberations on the concept paper and action plan that while Kazakhstan would host majority of events, other member states would also voluntarily host some of the events. In subsequent meetings of SWG and SOC, Chairman requested member states to consider hosting some of the events. Only Kyrgyzstan offered to host some events in human dimension concerning religious harmony and organized a seminar, Dialogue of Confessions – a path to a Stable Society, in Bishkek on March 27, 2009.
At the meetings of SWG and SOC held in Seoul in June 2008, Kazakhstan presented a plan of events for implementation of CBMs in human dimension during the years 2008 – 2009. As per this plan, six events were to be held in 2008 and six in 2009. However, out of the twelve planned events, only three were organized during 2008 and 2009. International Conference on Tolerance and inter-religious harmony as a blessing for Central Asia was held in Almaty on June 25, 2008; International Conference on Inter-cultural interaction in the Central Asian States was held in Astana on August 12, 2008; and Forum of Ethno-Cultural Associations of CICA Memberstates held in Astana on 1 May 2009.
As part of the action plan for implementation of CBMs in Human Dimension, Kazakhstan has planned to publish a three volume collection of stories, poems and folk literature from the CICA member states. Publication of the collection is aimed as an effective step towards enhancing cultural exchange among the member states, strengthening of mutual understanding and promoting awareness about creativity and heritage of the peoples of Asia. It was planned that the volume on short stories would be published in the second half of 2009 and the volumes on poems and folk literature would be published in the first half of 2010 before the Third CICA Summit. In March 2009, the Secretariat requested the member states to send material for the publications. However, response from the member states was not very encouraging despite repeated reminders and commitments made by the member states during the SWG and SOC meetings. Some member states cited copyright problem for their inability to send the material. Eventually, the Secretariat got some material but it was not sufficient for bringing out the publications. The publication has been postponed to the second half of 2010.
Illicit Drug Trafficking
Iran is the coordinating country for implementation of CBMs in the field of illicit drug trafficking. Afghanistan has offered to be the co-coordinator. As coordinator, Iran circulated the draft concept paper at SWG meeting on October 15-16, 2007 and organized an Experts Meeting in Tehran on December 22-23, 2007 for finalizing the draft. The draft finalized at experts meeting was considered by the Special Working Group at its meetings in Almaty in May 2008, in Seoul in June 2008, and again in Almaty in August 2008. After due deliberations, SWG recommended the draft concept paper to SOC. The Concept Paper on Cooperation among CICA Member States in Combating Illicit Drug Production and Trafficking and Precursors was approved by SOC on August 23, 2008.
The concept paper lists twelve areas of cooperation in combating illicit drugs including mutual legal assistance; reducing drug demand and supply; eliminating illicit drugs supply sources and cultivation; exchange of information on various aspects of combating drug production, supply, etc.; and raising public awareness. The Concept Paper formed the basis for conducting further deliberations aimed at elaborating an Action Plan. The Secretariat in the meanwhile started compiling the list of Focal Points in the respective member states for implementation of the Action Plan. The Secretariat has so far received the information on focal points from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Russia.
Iran presented a draft action plan for implementation of CBMs in September 2009 which was circulated among the member states. Some of the member states sought clarifications on certain provisions of the draft action plan. During the SWG Meeting in Beijing in October 2009, Iran circulated a new draft which was based on the previous draft. Some of the member states sought further clarifications on the fresh draft while others felt that the new draft needed to be examined in the capitals. Iran then presented a short three point action plan for the years 2010-11 in January 2010. Russia suggested certain additions and amendments to the draft. The new draft was discussed at the SWG meetings in Almaty in January 2010 and in Baku in March 2010 but it was not possible to arrive at a consensus. Eventually, the action plan was adopted at the SOC meeting in Istanbul in June 2010.
New Challenges and Threats
Turkey is the coordinator and Afghanistan is the co-coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the area of New Challenges and Threats. As a first step, Turkey organized CICA Experts Meeting on the Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Area of New Challenges and Threats in Ankara on January 31- February 1, 2008. This meeting was different from the earlier two Experts Meetings in the sense that it was not used as a negotiating platform for finalizing a pre-conceived draft document. There was no draft concept paper or action plan. The agenda included four broad themes, namely, Border control and management issues; Police related issues; Terrorism; and Trafficking issues. On each theme, there were presentations by experts in the field followed by discussions. The views expressed at the meeting were compiled in the form of a “consolidated summary” and were circulated among the member states.
Turkey then presented a draft Action Plan based on the “consolidated summary” at the SWG meeting in Almaty in May 2008. The draft Action Plan was considered by the Special Working Group at its meetings in Seoul in June 2008, and in Almaty in August 2008. After due deliberations, SWG recommended the draft Action Plan to SOC. Action Plan on the Implementation of CBMs in the area of New Threats and Challenges was approved by the SOC on August 23, 2008.
Action Plan covers all the four areas that were discussed at the Experts Meeting in Ankara and includes establishment of focal points network; convening regular meetings and seminars; exchange of information; and applying Turkey’s experience in establishing of Centres of Excellence within CICA framework, among other things.
CICA Secretariat requested member states to nominate their respective focal points in the areas of border management and police related issues for implementation of the Action Plan. So far, the Secretariat has received the relevant information from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkey.
Although action plan was adopted in August 2008 and provided for annual review, there was no forward movement on actual implementation of provisions of the action plan until May 2010. Turkey organised the First CICA Chiefs of Police Meeting in Antalya on 26-27 May 2010. Secretariat is awaiting report from the Turkish side on the outcome of the meeting. Turkey has indicated that it will organize a CICA-IOM Joint Workshop on Human Trafficking during the second half of 2010. Turkey also requested other member states to consider hosting other events envisaged in the action plan but no member state came forward to host any of the events.
Tajikistan is the coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the field of Tourism. In June 2008, Tajikistan presented a Concept Paper on Cooperation among CICA Member States in the area of Tourism, and organized an Experts Meeting in Dushanbe on September 27, 2008. Only eight member states participated in the meeting. Since there was no quorum at the meeting, concept paper was discussed in an informal setting. The draft concept paper finalized at the informal meeting was approved by the SOC at its meeting in New Delhi on February 20, 2009. Action Plan proposed by Tajikistan was considered at the SWG Meeting in Almaty in June 2009 but there was no consensus. A revised three point action plan for 2010 was adopted at SWG and SOC meetings in Beijing in October 2009. There has not been any forward movement on the action plan so far.
Azerbaijan is the coordinator and India is the co-coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the area of transportation corridors. In March 2008, Azerbaijan circulated a Concept of the СICA experts meeting on the implementation of CBMS in the field of Cooperation for the development of secure and effective systems of transportation corridors. Azerbaijan had planned to hold an Experts Meeting to discuss the Concept at Baku on March 25, 2008 but the meeting was postponed for some technical reasons. During SWG and SOC meetings in Beijing in October 2009, Azerbaijan announced that the meeting would be held in December 2009. However, the meeting has again been postponed to the second half of 2010.
Development of Small and Medium Enterprises
Russia is the coordinator and Thailand and Kazakhstan are the co-coordinators for implementation of CBMs in the area of development of small and medium enterprises. In February 2008, Russia presented drafts of concept paper and action plan on implementation of CICA Confidence Building Measures in the area of Promotion of Business Opportunities and Information Exchange in Small and Medium Enterprise. These drafts were discussed at the experts meeting hosted by Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation in Moscow on June 9, 2009 and were submitted for consideration of the Special working Group. Special working Group discussed the drafts at its meeting in Almaty on June 23-24, 2009. Special Working Group agreed on the draft concept paper but sought further clarifications on the draft action plan. Russian Federation, as coordinating country provided the clarifications at the meeting of the Special Working Group in Beijing on October 27-28, 2009. After due deliberations, draft action plan was also accepted by the Special Working Group. Drafts of concept paper and action plan for Promotion of Business Opportunities and Information Exchange in Small and Medium Enterprise were approved by the Senior Officials Committee at its meeting in Beijing on October 29, 2009. During SWG and SOC meetings in Beijing, Thailand announced that it would host a CICA Business Forum in Bangkok in the second half of 2010. During the SWD and SOC meetings in Almaty in April 2010, Thailand announced that the Business Forum would be held in the beginning of September 2010 – indicative dates being September 2-3. Turkey announced during this meeting that it would host a preparatory meeting for the Business Forum, dates for which are awaited.
At the SWG meeting in Almaty in January 2010, Russia circulated a questionnaire among all the member states requesting them to prioritize their areas of interest with a view to having effective implementation of the action plan. During the SOC meeting in Almaty in April 2010, Russia reiterated its request to the member states to urgently send their responses to the questionnaire. Till date only two member states, namely, Republic of Korea and Thailand have responded to the questionnaire.
Republic of Korea is the coordinator and India is the co-coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the area of Energy Security. In April 2009, Republic of Korea presented the draft Concept Paper and action plan for Implementation of CICA Catalogue of CBMs in the Economic Area: “Energy Security Cooperation”. This concept paper was circulated among the member states and suggestions received from them were incorporated in the draft for consideration at the Experts Meeting. The draft was discussed and finalized at the experts meeting hosted by Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Republic of Korea in Seoul on September 4, 2009 and was submitted for consideration of the Special working Group. Special working Group discussed the draft at its meeting in Beijing on October 27-28, 2009. While there was consensus on most provisions of the draft, Russian delegation mentioned that it needed to consult the concerned department in capital on certain amendments that were proposed during the meeting. Concept paper and action plan were adopted at the SWG and SOC meetings in Almaty in January 2010. There has been no follow up on the action plan so far.
Republic of Korea is the coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the area of Information Technology. In August 2009, Republic of Korea presented the draft Concept Paper and action plan for Implementation of the CICA Confidence Building Measures in the area of Information Technology. The draft was discussed and finalized at the experts meeting hosted by Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Republic of Korea in Seoul on September 7, 2009 and was submitted for consideration of the Special working Group. Special working Group discussed the draft at its meeting in Beijing on October 27-28, 2009. However, there was no consensus on the draft. The draft was again discussed at the SWG meeting in Almaty in January 2010 but it was not possible to arrive at a consensus. It was possible to arrive at a broad consensus on the draft at the SWG and SOC meetings in Baku in March 2010 and it was decided to adopt the action plan through silence procedure. The action plan was finally adopted on 10 April 2010.
As a follow up to the action plan, Republic of Korea will organize an e-Government Policy Course for the CICA member states on 6-9 September 2010. The course will be for managerial level officials in Information and Communication Technology Departments with minimum seven years of experience.
Mongolia is the coordinator for implementation of confidence building measures in the area of Environment. During the Special Working Group Meeting in Almaty in June 2009, Mongolia presented a draft Action Plan for cooperation among the Member States of CICA in Environmental Sector for 2009-2010. The draft could not be discussed at the meeting because member states needed time to study it. Member states subsequently sought a number of clarifications on the draft action plan. During the Special Working Group meeting in Beijing in October 2009, Mongolia announced that it would present a fresh draft action plan keeping in view observations of the member states. Mongolia presented a short, four point action plan at the SWG meeting in Baku in March 2010. It was decided to consider the draft at the next SWG meetings after the member states had studied the draft. At the SWG meeting in Almaty in April 2010, the draft came up for consideration. Some of the delegates sought clarifications regarding suitability of the action plan. It was then decided that Mongolian side would come up with a detailed concept paper on the subject before the action plan could be considered and finalized. The Secretariat has not yet received the concept paper from the Mongolian side.
As has been mentioned earlier, implementation of confidence building measures in military-political dimension did not find any mention in the Cooperative Approach for implementation of CICA CBMs adopted in March 2007. At that time, some of the memberstates felt that CICA process had not yet reached the stage of implementation of confidence building measures in military-political dimension. Some other member states felt that it would be better to first focus on implementation of confidence building measures in socio-economic dimensions and move on to military-political dimension at a later stage. At the same time, some member states, including Kazakh Chairmanship, were of the view that cooperation in military-political dimension is at the core of the philosophy of CICA, as reflected in Almaty Act and Catalogue of CICA Confidence Building Measures.
Kazakhstan, in its capacity as Chairman, continued its efforts to build consensus on cooperation in military-political dimension. As a result of these efforts, Ministers of Foreign Affairs recognized the importance to initiate deliberations on security issues in Declaration and Conclusions of the Third Ministerial Meeting in Almaty in August 2008. Following the endorsement by the Ministers, Chairman presented a perception paper which was discussed at the Special Working Group Meeting in Almaty in June 2009. There was, however, no consensus on the perception paper and it was agreed that the paper would be further elaborated and discussed at the Special Working Group Meeting in Beijing in October 2009. During the Beijing Meeting, Chairman presented a new perception paper. After due deliberation, it was agreed by Special Working Group that Chairman’s Perception Paper may form basis for further deliberations on military-political dimension. Thailand, the current Chairman of ASEAN and ARF offered to share its experiences on ARF’s approach and experiences in dealing with military and political issues. It was agreed that current Chairman (Kazakhstan) and incoming Chairman (Turkey) of CICA would have trilateral consultations with Thailand and report to Special Working Group. It was also agreed that a meeting of experts from ministries of foreign affairs and defence of the member states would be held in 2010 to discuss the concept paper and action plan for cooperation in military-political dimension.
The trilateral consultations between Thailand, Kazakhstan and Turkey on ARF’s approach and experiences in dealing with military-political issues were held in Bangkok on January, 18 2010. At the meetings of SWG and SOC held in Almaty on January 21-23, 2010, Thai, Kazakh and Turkish delegations briefed the member states on these consultations. Turkish delegation also circulated Present CICA Acquis on CBMs in general and CBMs in the military-political dimension at the meeting spelling out the excerpts from various CICA documents on military-political dimension. At the SWG meeting in Baku on March 10-11, 2010, Turkish delegation introduced Concept Paper on the vision of the Turkish Chairmanship 2010-2012 at the SWG meeting. The Concept Paper emphasized the need for dialogue on security issues and implementation of confidence building measures in military-political dimension. Ambassador Bullent Tulun, Chairman of CICA Task Force at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made a detailed presentation the SOC meeting on March 12, 2010. While once again emphasizing the need for confidence building measures in military-political dimension, Ambassador Tulun mentioned that Turkey would try to build consensus on this. A number of member states made interventions following Ambassador Tulun’s presentation. While some of the member states welcomed the idea of implementation of confidence building measures in military-political dimension, others were cautious. It is expected that there will be further deliberations on the subject during the forthcoming meetings of SOC.
Iran is the coordinator for implementation of CBMs in the area of National Disaster Management. So far, there has been no progress in this area. Iran has indicated that a draft concept paper will be circulated soon followed by an experts meeting.
Although Israel is not a formal coordinator or co-coordinator for any of the CBMs, during the SOC meeting in October 2007, Israel offered to share its expertise in the fields of water management, advance agriculture, hi-tech development, disaster and crisis management and indicated its readiness to hold workshops in one or more in these fields. Following up on this offer, Israel organised a CICA Seminar on Advanced Agricultural Development in Tel-Aviv on October 26-29, 2008. The topics covered at the seminar were agricultural research and development; water management; public – private partnership; combating desertification & dry land development; and role of international development cooperation.
Israel hosted another seminar on Advanced Water Management for Agricultural and Urban Use on 2-5 May 2010. The topics covered at the second seminar included new approaches for water saving technologies; Israel’s national water technology program; agricultural aspect of reuse of treated waste water; advance irrigation technology; portable water quality and standards; and municipal water treatment and supply.
There is no doubt that a forum like CICA was needed when it was proposed by President Nazarbayev in 1992. CICA has lived up to its expectations as a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia through dialogue, interaction and confidence building measures among the Memberstates. This is demonstrated by adoption of important documents like Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between CICA Memberstates; Almaty Act; Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations; Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures; and Cooperative Approach for the implementation of CICA CBMs as well as by successful conclusion of two Summit Meetings and three Ministerial Meetings.
The fact that CICA very much remains relevant today is evidenced by admission of Jordan, UAE, Iraq and Vietnam as full members and conferment of observer status on Qatar, Bangladesh and Cambodia in last two years. Member states of CICA cover nearly ninety percent of the area and population of Asia. During the short period since its inception, CICA has made big strides in its endeavour to find ways and means to eliminate the causes of mistrust, tension and hostility and create conditions for sustainable peace in Asia and economic growth of Asian states.
Practical implementation of confidence building measures is the route for not only taking the CICA process forward but also for retaining the relevance of the process. Until recently, CICA approach towards CBMs had been mainly declaratory. However, declared intents need to be followed-up by real progress for them to remain meaningful. How and in which shape can this objective be realized depends on the collective will and mutual understanding of the member states.
While noticeable progress has been made in the process of implementation of confidence building measures, a lot more needs to be done. Tangible steps need to be taken for realization of the objectives set out in the three concept papers that have been approved by SOC. Experts Meetings need to be held as soon as possible for finalizing concept papers and action plans drafts of which have been circulated and draft concept papers need to be prepared for CBMs in the area of and national disaster management.
Annexure – I
Executive Directors of CICA Secretariat
1. Mr. Jandos Asanov (Kazakhstan)June 2006 – August 2008
2. Mr. Dulat Bakishev(Kazakhstan)August 2008 – June 2010
3. Mr. Çinar Aldemir(Turkey) June 2010 –
Deputy Executive Directors of CICA Secretariat
1. Mr. Kurtulus Aykan(Turkey)December 2006 – September 2008
2. Mr. Korhan Karakoç (Turkey)October 2008 – June 2010
3. Mr. Kanat Tumysh (Kazakhstan) June 2010
Annexure - II
Voluntary contributions to the budget of CICA Secretariat
Contributing Member State
Republic of Korea
List of coordinating and co-coordinating countries for implementing specific Confidence Building Measures
Development of secure and effective systems of transportation corridors