Statement of the Chairmanship on the Sixth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) met in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, on 11-12 October 2021 for the Sixth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs, when the situation in the world, including Asia, requires close interaction, exchange of views, joint response to new challenges and threats, peaceful settlement of conflicts and stronger confidence building measures.
Highly appreciating, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of CICA, the personal role of the CICA Founder, First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initiated CICA and made a significant contribution to the development of the CICA process and common efforts for peace, security and cooperation in Asia;
Reaffirming their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, universally recognized norms and principles of international law, being guided by the principles of CICA enshrined in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States of 14 September 1999 and the Almaty Act of 4 June 2002;
Recognizing the central role of the United Nations as a universal multilateral organization in changing circumstances of the international system;
Bearing in mind the importance of common, comprehensive, cooperative, sustainable, indivisible and equal security;
Recognizing that Asia, as the largest region in the world with the potential to transform into the driving force behind global progress, should inevitably become a strong commonwealth of independent nations, pursuing common goals and contributing to global peace and security;
Stressing that CICA, as an intergovernmental forum with the largest geographical reach in the Asian region and a comprehensive agenda, is a platform with the relevant potential to consolidate the collective wisdom of Asian countries in the interests of peace, cooperation, security and development, and to ensure their full inclusion in the global multilateral decision-making processes;
Conscious of the fact that the world community faces numerous new challenges and threats, including those of epidemiological nature;
Realizing that the challenges in the CICA area of responsibility are complex and interrelated and require stronger cooperation among the Member States and effective implementation of confidence building measures in all dimensions;
Considering Asia's rich cultural diversity and the importance of promoting intercultural harmony through increased people-to-people contacts and interaction;
Being committed to the main goal and directions of CICA activities to strengthen cooperation through the development of multilateral approaches to promoting peace, security and stability in Asia;
1. The Ministers are convinced that effective multilateral cooperation based on the principles stipulated in the UN Charter, as well as in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States and the Almaty Act, is an important element in maintaining regional and international peace and security. The Ministers will undertake joint efforts to further develop CICA in order to implement effective consensus-based approaches to security and cooperation. The Ministers underscore the need, at the current international and regional circumstances, for strengthened unity and increased effectiveness of CICA, given the emerging threats and challenges to the peace, security, and sustainable development in their region.
2. The Ministers reemphasize that cooperation in the CICA region will be based on respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non – interference in internal affairs, peaceful co-existence, mutual benefit and refraining from the threat or use of force against territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with principles and purposes of the UN Charter. The Ministers affirm their commitment to the principles of the UN Charter and international law, including in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
3. The Ministers reaffirm the importance of promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The process of promoting and protecting human rights should be conducted in conformity with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and international law. While the significance of national and regional particularities must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
4. CICA, being an important multilateral cooperation mechanism in the region, should strengthen multilateral dialogue and cooperation and play a bigger role in promoting equal and indivisible security and common development based on the mutual understanding that has been reached so far in Asia. The Ministers will continue to promote representative, fair and sustainable multilateral model of international relations, deepen confidence building measures, consultations, joint efforts and shared benefits and develop dialogue on a regional security architecture that is open, inclusive and based on universally recognized principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. It is important to promote the international relationship based on mutual respect, fairness and justice, mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as build a community of shared future for mankind. The Ministers reject any unlawful political and economic pressure against any Member State, particularly with those Member States, whose nations are suffering from negative consequences of unilateral coercive measures at political, cultural and economic levels, taking into consideration the Charter of the United Nations and the universally recognized norms and principles of international law.
5. The Ministers stress that terrorism, separatism and extremism coupled with human rights abuses, financial crises and environmental degradation continue to affect the lives of millions of people around the world.
6. The Ministers support the proposal by the CICA Chairman-in-Office to hold structured discussions on transformation of CICA into an international organization for regional security and cooperation in Asia and will study the concept of transformation.
7. The Ministers call upon all Member States to fulfill their respective obligations in the sphere of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, taking into consideration the broad threats associated with the weapons of mass destruction. The Ministers, taking into account Member States’ respective memberships to the below mentioned international agreements, call for broad cooperation based on the principles of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Geneva Protocol, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). CICA Member States – Parties to the NPT reaffirm their commitment to maintaining and strengthening the effectiveness, universality and authority of the treaty, promoting the three pillars of the treaty in a comprehensive and balanced manner, and promoting the success of the tenth Review Conference of the treaty.
8. Ministers acknowledge the contribution of zones free of nuclear weapons to nuclear non-proliferation, the importance of an early entry into force of the Protocol to the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, note the importance of the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction based on arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned and on the basis of consensus, and support Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free-status.
9. The Ministers underline the importance of ensuring safety and security of outer space activities, use of outer space for peaceful purposes and prevention of an arms race in outer space, as provided for by the First Special Session of the UNGA for Disarmament in 1978. The Ministers reiterate that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. The Ministers note the introduction, by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation at the Conference on Disarmament, of the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects in 2008 and the submission of its updated version in 2014, which is subject to further discussion.
10. The Ministers express deep concern that the indiscriminate use of landmines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war in armed conflicts threatens the peace, security and stability of States, hinders post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts, and recognize the positive contribution that mine action activities make to stabilization and peace sustainment efforts in the aftermath of conflict. In this regard, The Ministers call upon Member States and relevant UN entities, in accordance with their mandates, as well as civil society and relevant stakeholders, in a position to do so, to provide assistance to clear landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devises, upon request of the affected Member States.
11. The Ministers strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers express their deep concern about the security challenges in Asia and beyond, caused by the threat of terrorism and the actions of terrorist organizations. The Ministers reiterate their commitment to work together to prevent and suppress terrorism, including cross-border movements of terrorists, through increased international solidarity and cooperation, in full recognition of the United Nations’ central role, and in accordance with UN Charter and obligations under international law, as well as through the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the CICA area of responsibility. The Ministers reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnicity. The Ministers stress the importance of comprehensive measures in the fight against terrorism.
12. The Ministers call upon all states to step up comprehensive efforts to prevent and combat terrorism including through countering radicalization as well as recruitment, money laundering and financing terrorism, misuse of the Internet by terrorist entities. The Ministers underline the need for all countries to ensure that territories are not used for terrorist bases or for the organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other states or their citizens.
13. The Ministers emphasize the need to undertake cooperation within the CICA framework in the area of ensuring security of and in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), acknowledging the leading role of the United Nations as the main multilateral fora for deliberating and searching for consensus on these issues, and reaffirm their commitment to jointly counter the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for criminal purposes or other purposes that are inconsistent with objectives of maintaining international peace, stability and security. Ministers believe that strengthening data protection is a matter of national security, public interest and personal rights for all CICA Member States.
14. The Ministers note that the COVID-19, the most serious public health challenge of modern times, has a complex negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the Member States and is detrimental to the development gains. The Ministers recognize the importance of joining the efforts of the international community to overcome global socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, as well as to strengthen the health systems throughout the world in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity, including through ensuring equitable access to vaccines and medicines. The Ministers highly appreciate and support the pivotal role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in this respect. The Ministers acknowledge the importance of continuing work between States on mutual recognition of certificates of vaccination against COVID-19. Ministers emphasize that defining the sources of viruses is purely a non-political scientific task, based on expert investigation and research on a global scale, and is key for the prevention of future pandemics.
15. Ministers express their commitment to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and its Sustainable Development Goals based on national policies of each Member State, improving the quality of life of the Member States’ population, sharing the best international practices of development, and promoting stronger, healthier and more sustainable global development
16. The Ministers note the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of environmental protection, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, emergency management, sustainable energy transitions, sustainable water management, biodiversity conservation and fostering harmonious common life of humans and nature. The Ministers welcome global efforts to address climate change, including to stimulate green investment and financing, reduce all polluting emissions into the atmosphere, support the transformation of carbon-intensive industries through deployment of clean technologies, while taking into account the development policies and priorities of countries. The Ministers note the need for more global attention to mobilizing means of implementation, especially implementing the commitment of developed countries to provide 100-billion-dollar financial support to developing countries annually.
17. The Ministers recognize the importance of digital economy, digital transformation and E-commerce in their countries, including the adoption and effective integration of digital technologies, bridging the digital divide and building digital workforce capacity to cope with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate economic recovery in all Member States.
18. The Ministers underline the strategic importance of connectivity for trade and development and improved cooperation among the Member States. The Ministers also underline the importance of further development of transport corridors, including multimodal ones and logistics centers, and promoting digitalization of transportation, through the CICA region for full utilization of their potential and for enhancing peace and prosperity.
19. The Ministers remain committed to an open, transparent, non-discriminatory, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. The Ministers actively promote the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) to achieve positive results, including starting the selection process of the Appellate Body as soon as possible, restoring the dispute settlement mechanism with the two-tier system and achieving substantial progress on the key negotiation tracks, keeping in mind the interests of developing countries.
20. The Ministers are convinced that diversity of cultures and cultural heritage of the Member States is a valuable asset of CICA, and The Ministers advocate further strengthening of cultural ties, development of inter-civilizational dialogue, strengthening of contacts in the fields of education, science and humanities among the Member States.
21. The Ministers are committed to strengthening sports exchanges and cooperation among Member States, oppose the politicization of sports, and expect the important international sports events in Member States, including Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, Ekaterinburg 2022 SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit, 2022 World Nomad Games in Turkey, Kazan 2023 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, and the 19th Asian Games.
22. The Ministers emphasize that restoration of peace and economic development in Afghanistan based on an inclusive negotiated political settlement is key for security and stability in the CICA region. Emphasizing the right of all Afghan people to live in safety, security and with dignity, the Ministers stand ready to support the efforts of the international community along with the UN to assist the people of Afghanistan. The Ministers also underscore that Afghanistan should not become a safe haven for terrorist groups. The Ministers stand for united, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. The Ministers are concerned with potential threat of penetration of terrorist and other destructive elements from Afghan territory to the neighboring countries.
The Ministers emphasize the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities. The Ministers emphasize the importance of safe passage in and out of Afghanistan. The Ministers call for strengthened efforts of the international community in this regard and call on all donors and international humanitarian actors to provide humanitarian assistance accordingly.
The Ministers encourage international community to assist Afghanistan in implementing major infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of transport and energy, which undoubtedly contribute to Afghanistan’s emergence as an important link in regional connectivity. In this regard the Ministers stress the importance of providing transit facilities to Afghanistan by its neighboring countries, while ensuring national sovereignty of these countries and taking all necessary measures to prevent drug trafficking and infiltration of terrorist and other extremist elements under the pretence of refugees to the neighbouring countries.
23. The resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of the two-state solution is indispensable for comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The Ministers stress the necessity of the resumption of direct bilateral negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials and call upon the international community to enhance its contribution to economic initiatives that will benefit the Palestinian people and enhance trust and cooperation in the region. The Ministers remain firmly committed to enabling and supporting all efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and agreed parameters, taking into account the legitimate security concerns of all parties. The Ministers also recall the importance of the special role of the Hashemite Custodianship of the holy sites in Jerusalem.
24. The Ministers stress the important role of the Chairman-in-Office – the Republic of Kazakhstan in giving new impetus to the CICA process, promoting institutional development of CICA and practical implementation of confidence building measures.
25. The Ministers commend the efforts of the Chairman-in-Office, coordinators and co-coordinators of confidence building measures on enhancing cooperation in various dimensions. The Member States will continue to advance the CICA process through the implementation of confidence building measures in the military-political dimension, in combating new challenges and threats, and in the economic, environmental and human dimensions. In that context, the Member States stand ready to keep with the principles of voluntary and equal participation, consensus building and gradual basis, conduct dialogue and consultation, further strengthen cooperation.
26. The Ministers recognize the role of confidence building measures in enhancing cooperation, establishing and strengthening the atmosphere of peace and cooperation between the Member States. In this respect, The Ministers commend the outcomes of CICA events, held in line with the CICA Plan on Implementation of Confidence Building Measures for 2021, as well as the work of the Business Council, Youth Council and other CICA forums.
27. The Ministers welcome the initiatives to include new confidence building measures in the fields of epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals as well as the security of and the use of ICTs into the CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures. The Ministers call on the Member States to actively cooperate in implementing these confidence building measures.
28. In order to further strengthen confidence and cooperation among the Member States, The Ministers adopted the updated CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures adapted to new realities and The Ministers will make every effort for its implementation.
29. The Ministers adopted the Regulations of the CICA Council of Eminent Persons – an advisory body designed to develop advice on a wide range of issues of interaction within the framework of CICA, including strengthening of peace and security, implementation of confidence building measures.
30. The Ministers appreciate contribution of CICA Member States to dialogue within the CICA Think Tank Forum, initiated and steered by the People's Republic of China, and welcome its transformation into a permanent information and analytical advisory body of CICA.
31. The Ministers emphasize the importance of further studying the matter of establishment of a CICA Fund in accordance with the objectives and purposes of CICA.
32. The Ministers welcome Turkmenistan as an Observer of CICA.
33. The Ministers emphasize the importance of unified efforts of the Member States in advancing partnerships with other regional and international organizations and forums for further efforts in ensuring peace, security, stability and sustainable development across Asia and globally.
34. The Ministers commend the efforts of the CICA Secretariat aimed at ensuring the work of the Conference and call on all CICA Member States to consider making voluntary contributions to the Secretariat’s budget and to second members of the professional personnel on a regular basis.
35. The Ministers request those Member States, which have not already done so, to ratify the Statute of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia on an expeditious basis. The Ministers also request those Member States, which have not done so already, to sign and ratify the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its Personnel and Representatives of Members.
36. The Ministers express their gratitude to the Republic of Kazakhstan for organizing this Meeting and agree to hold the Seventh Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs in 2024. The Ministers welcome the intention of the Republic of Kazakhstan to host the Sixth CICA Summit in Nur-Sultan in 2022.
37. The Ministers pledge their support to the efforts of the Chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan to mark the 30th anniversary of CICA in 2022 by achieving new milestones in further strengthening their forum.