Statements and Remarks of CICA Secretary General Ambassador Kairat Sarybay

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Remarks by Secretary General of CICA Ambassador Kairat Sarybay at Plenary Session 2 of the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development: "Looking ahead to the Summit of the Future: Perspectives from the Arab Region"

Esteemed Under-Secretary-General Guy Ryder,

panelists, and participants,


I express my gratitude for the invitation extended by the USG Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Dr. Rola Dashti, to participate in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development and deliver my statement.


As Secretary-General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), I reflect on the initiative proposed three decades ago by the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. CICA serves as an intergovernmental forum for dialogue, addressing common regional issues amidst globalization, economic development, and escalating challenges.


Today, CICA stands as a pan-Asian organization, comprising 28 Member States across the continent. Notably, eight ESCWA member states are also members of CICA (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, and the UAE.). In December 2023, consensus was reached to grant observer status to Saudi Arabia, an application of Morocco for observer status is under consideration.


The territory of CICA’s responsibilities stretches from the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and from the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The total population of CICA member states is 4.2 billion people.


With inclusiveness and voluntariness as fundamental principles, CICA provides equal opportunities for diverse member states to engage in joint discussions and reach consensus-based decisions.


The CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures offers a broad spectrum of cooperative areas within its five dimensions: economic, environmental, human, new challenges and threats, and military-political.


CICA's "Asian approach" emphasizes unity amidst diversity, focusing on what unites peoples across the continent. The ongoing transformation process aims to enhance CICA as a full-fledged international organization, reflecting the new role of Asia in global economic and political development.


CICA places significant emphasis on the vital synergy between governmental efforts and businesses to achieve sustainable development goals and build resilient economies. Over the past two years, the agenda of the CICA's Business Council has been filled with topics such as the digitalization of business processes in small and medium enterprises, food security, renewable energy, and green financing.


It is noteworthy that this year, the CICA Business Council, along with the CICA Business Forum to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will focus primarily on prioritizing sustainable development in SMEs, leveraging AI for SME development, enhancing cross-border trade through e-commerce advancements, and other related areas.


Looking ahead, CICA is preparing for major events in 2024, including the Ministerial Conference on Environmental Issues on 28 August in Astana, initiated by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.


It's worth mentioning that we are actively working on operationalizing the CICA Fund. The CICA Secretariat launched calls for funds and projects in 2023. The first contribution was made by Iraq, a Western Asian country.


Distinguished colleagues,

Over the past six months, we have witnessed a concerning escalation of violence in West Asia, resulting in significant casualties and suffering among civilians. It is regrettable and saddening that civilian lives are being disregarded, humanitarian issues are being overlooked, weapons are being used indiscriminately, and hostage-taking tactics are being employed. Attempting to resolve longstanding political problems through force is unacceptable. Such violence only perpetuates further violence.


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.


The resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution is indispensable for lasting peace in West Asia.


In the current geopolitical landscape, characterized by fractures and new divisions, multilateralism and inclusiveness are the only viable approaches to ensure peace and stability.


CICA stands as the only multilateral mechanism where Palestine and Israel share membership on an equal footing.


Integrating CICA into the UN global partnership is a key priority.


The CICA Secretariat has made a substantial contribution to recommendations for “A New Agenda for Peace” advocating for enhancing the partnership of regional organizations with the UN to address global cross-sectoral challenges.


Considering the pivotal role that Western Asian countries play in both regional and global development and security architecture, CICA is earnestly striving to enhance its visibility within the region.


The CICA Secretariat actively seeking synergies with key regional stakeholders, such as the UN ESCWA to make substantial and practical contributions towards advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region, thereby benefiting not only Asia but also extending beyond its borders.


In conclusion, CICA remains committed to deepening dialogue and cooperation, particularly in West Asia. We are dedicated to forging a resilient partnership with the UN and the Arab League in pursuit of regional and global peace and prosperity.


Thank you.



6 March, Beirut, Lebanon