CICA Senior Officials Committee holds final meeting of 2023
The CICA Senior Officials Committee (SOC) met in Astana on 12 December 2023 to take stock of 2023 achievements of CICA and discuss the path ahead for the organization. High-level representatives of CICA Member States, the Kazakhstan Chairmanship and the CICA Secretariat reviewed major outcomes of this year, approved plans for 2024 and concept papers for cooperation in CICA priority areas, considered an application for Observer State status and discussed future cooperation with some other international organizations.
The Chairperson of the SOC meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Alibek Bakayev, briefed the Member States on majorachievements of 2023, current CICA activities andthe outlook for 2024, including on the implementation of the CICA transformation road map endorsed by the CICA Ministerial Council in September 2023.
The CICA Secretary General Kairat Sarybay presented an annual report on the activities of the CICA Secretariat in 2023 covering all areas of Secretariat work over the last year, and work plans for 2024.
The SOC adopted the 2024 plan of implementation of confidence building measures(CBMs) and the 2024 Budget of the CICA Secretariat, which are the basic annual planning documents of the organization.
The SOC also considered and approved two concept papers in CICA priority areas“Environment protection” and “Natural disaster management”, prepared by Mongolia and Iran respectively.
Overwhelming support at the SOC meeting was expressed to the application of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join CICA as an Observer State.The SOC recommended to the CICA Ministerial Council to grant CICA Observer status to this country. Expansion of CICA is a very welcome development. Saudi Arabia’s entry into the CICA family is important for further expansion of CICA as a pan-Asian organization for dialogue and cooperation.
One of the highlights of the SOC meeting was welcoming the recent breakthrough in the process of entry into force of the CICA Convention on Privileges and Immunities owing to its recent ratification by Bangladesh.
The SOC also discussed the topic of developing closer relations with other international organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, to create and further develop effective synergies with these structures.