The SOC Meeting: Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship intends to launch the structured discussion process on transformation of CICA into an international organization
The meeting of the Senior Officials Committee (SOC) of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), held on 8 December 2021, was chaired by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Shakhrat Nuryshev.
Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship in CICA presented the information on drafting of a concept paper and the upcoming structured discussions on transformation of CICA into an international organization for regional security and cooperation in Asia. Thus, in his address to the meeting participants, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted that the transformation of CICA was a strategic goal of Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship. In the long term, CICA, in its capacity as full-fledge organization, will be better equipped to cope with a rapidly changing security environment, and to contribute to strengthening of cooperation and development on the Asian continent. The Chair of the SOC meeting also informed the meeting participants on holding of the Sixth CICA Summit in Nur-Sultan on 12-13 October 2022, in the year of CICA’s 30th Anniversary. The SOC adopted the recommendation on the Republic of Kazakhstan’s bid for the CICA Chairmanship in 2022-2024.
The SOC reviewed and adopted a number of key decisions, recommended by the SWG at its last meeting. In particular, the participants discussed the membership of the newly established advisory body of CICA – the CICA Council of Eminent Persons, implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, establishment of the CICA Fund, and building partner relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The number of Member States emphasized the importance of establishing partnerships between CICA and other international and regional organizations.
According to the Chinese side, the CICA Think Tank Forum’s (TTF) meeting would be held on 28-29 December 2021. This year, the Think Tank Forum has been transformed into a permanent advisory body of CICA. In October 2021, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies has been appointed as the Chair of the TTF.
Executive Director of CICA Ambassador Kairat Sarybay submitted to the SOC the Report on implementation of confidence building measures and activities of the Secretariat in 2021. “Despite the ongoing challenges due to the pandemic, this year has been quite productive in terms of implementation of CICA’s confidence building measures: so far we have implemented 38 events outlined in the Plan on Implementation of Confidence Building Measures for 2021”, noted the Head of the Secretariat. The SOC commended the activities carried out by the Secretariat in 2021.
At the end of the meeting, the SOC adopted the CICA Plan on Implementation of Confidence Building Measures for 2022, the Concept Paper on Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the priority area “Development of small and medium enterprises”, the Concept Paper on Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the priority area “Finance”, new Coordinators on implementation of confidence building measures in the areas of “Combating terrorism” (India), “Epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals” (Kazakhstan) and “Security of information and communication technologies (ICT)” (Russia, Co-coordinator - China). In addition, the SOC adopted the budget of the CICA Secretariat for 2022 and an updated Staff Matrix of the Secretariat.