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CICA Secretary General participates in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development

5-7 March 2024 — Beirut — CICA Secretary General Ambassador Kairat Sarybay participated in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development held in Beirut, Lebanon, at the invitation extended by Dr. Rola Dashti, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Ambassador Sarybay delivered remarks during Plenary Session 2, titled "Looking Ahead to the Summit of the Future." He shared insights into CICA's remarkable journey over 30 years, starting from its inception as an initiative announced at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly to its ongoing transformation launched at the Sixth Summit in October 2022, held in Astana.

K. Sarybay also highlighted CICA's recent expansion, with Kuwait welcomed as a new full-fledged member in 2022 and observer status granted to Saudi Arabia in 2023, while Morocco's application is currently under consideration.               

In his intervention, the Secretary General accentuated CICA's "Asian approach," which underscores unity amidst diversity, focusing on commonalities across the continent. He reiterated that the CICA's ongoing transformation aims to reflect Asia's new role in global economic and political development.

Recognizing the bridging role of the 8 member states of CICA, who are also integral members of ESCWA and the Arab League, Ambassador Sarybay emphasized the CICA Secretariat's pursuit of synergies with these two key regional stakeholders. This collaboration aims to make substantial contributions towards advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region, benefiting not only Asia but also extending beyond its borders.

Reflecting on CICA's efforts towards advancing SDGs, K. Sarybay underscored the agenda of CICA's advisory body, the Business Council, over the past two years. The Business Council has focused on topics such as digitalization of business processes in SMEs, food security, renewable energy, and green financing, prioritizing sustainable development in SMEs, leveraging AI for SME development, enhancing cross-border trade through e-commerce advancements, and other related areas.

Looking forward, Secretary General informed participants of CICA's major events in 2024, including the Ministerial Conference on Environmental Issues scheduled for 28 August in Astana. He also spotlighted that recently, Kazakhstan, under its CICA Chairmanship, provided humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, contributing to global efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in the region.

K. Sarybay stressed that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution is indispensable for lasting peace in West Asia. The CICA Secretary General brought to the attention of the Panel participants that the CICA is the only multilateral forum where Palestine and Israel are members on an equal footing.   

Ambassador K. Sarybay conveyed his gratitude to Dr. Dashti for extending the excellent opportunity to showcase the CICA's priorities at the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development.


During the meeting, parties explored various avenues for potential collaboration, including in the realm of education. Ambassador Sarybay provided an overview to Executive Secretary Dr. Dashti on the series of high-level events planned by CICA for 2024, the implementation of priorities set forth during Kazakhstan's Chairmanship, and the ongoing efforts and ideas of the CICA Secretariat to synergize the activities of its various bodies, including the Business Council - Think Tank Forum, and Youth Council - Business Council.

In agreement, both sides affirmed the importance of maintaining communication channels to foster collaboration in advancing the SDGs across Asia, acknowledging the potential for these endeavors to reverberate on a global scale.




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