On behalf of CICA Chairmanship Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, the Executive Director of CICA Secretariat, participated in the Horasis Extraordinary Virtual Event held on 19 March 2021.

Remarks by Ambassador Kairat Sarybay at the “Joining Hands for Peace” virtual panel

of Horasis Extraordinary Meeting  19 March 19 2021, (Nur-Sultan time).


On behalf of CICA Chairmanship Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, the Executive Director of CICA Secretariat, participated in the Horasis* Extraordinary Virtual Event held on 19 March 2021.

Over 1000 senior business, government and public executives from around the globe took part in a meeting.

Ambassador Kairat Sarybay delivered remarks at the panel "Joining Hands for Peace" that proposed an exchange of views in the following context: 

The COVID-pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world. Civil unrest in vulnerable states increase the risk of confrontation between the major powers: How to prevent post-COVID conflict and maintain world peace? And how can the United Nations enhance international cooperation and promote better standards of life for all, allowing for stability to be preserved in societies?

The address of Ambassador Kairat Sarybay highlighted the CICA contribution to strengthening international cooperation, including against COVID-19.

 *Horasis is an independent advisory Think Tank with its headquarters in Switzerland, which focuses on addressing the most pressing issues of the international agenda by inviting the experts from among members of governments, prominent scientists, political and   public leaders. 

(Full text of remarks).


Dear madam Moderator and esteemed Panel,

I am speaking on behalf of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), a multinational forum founded over 20 years ago for enhancing co-operation to promote peace, security and stability in Asia.

Today our Forum unites 27 states of Asia, covering above 90 per cent of the continent, stretching from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, and from the Ural to the Indian Ocean, with over half the world population.

 Looking at the proposed topic from the perspective of such a broad international platform as CICA, I will focus my remarks on introducing CICA’s added value to global security and our approach to strengthening multilateralism.

 The CICA Charter of 2002, known as the Almaty Act, reaffirms its Member States’ commitment to the UN Charter and their belief that peace and security in Asia can be achieved only through dialogue and co-operation. 

 CICA aims at creating an effective mechanism multilateral co-operation, preventive diplomacy and peaceful settlement of disputes to achieve regional and global security.

 The philosophy of CICA is the gradual expansion of the common ground by interacting in areas that do not raise concerns among any of the 27 Member States.

The product of our collaboration is trust, which is a fundamental pillar of security, and consensus is the primary rule of decision making in CICA.

Diversity in the political systems, economies and cultures of the CICA Member States is our asset. We build on our differences to develop new approaches to strengthen security, that are acceptable for all Member States.

 All Member States are equal on the CICA platform. This approach fully meets the UN norm of equality of voices of all members of the international community.

 In 2007, CICA was granted the high status of a UN General Assembly Observer.

 The CICA Member States are consistently taking practical steps to achieve CICA objectives.

 The CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures is a unique tool which enables Member States to build trust, co-operation and security through specific practical actions. It represents a dynamic and forward-looking road map for co-ordinated activities of Member States.

 For instance, the CICA Plan for 2021 consists of over 50 CBMs in five dimensions to be hosted by Member States on a voluntary basis, including activities to share experience and best practices.

 Our latest developments include introduction of a new confidence-building measure in the field of epidemiological security, as well as assistance to CICA Member States in greatest need in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian aid was provided to the Embassies of Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq in our headquarters in Kazakhstan just about two weeks ago.

 In the time allotted to me, I presented the facts on how CICA joins hands of 27 Asian states to contribute to global peace and security. Now I am ready to answer questions from esteemed panelists.

Q&A session


How do we focus on our commonalities while still respecting – and even celebrating – our differences? The tribalism that exists today often doesn’t want to compromise or focus on just common interests because they feel their interests are suppressed or reduced down to lowest common denominator. Can we have both a focus on commonalities with a celebration of differences? How do we do it?

 How can cross-functional, international, or other diverse organizations help its representatives serve both their international colleagues and interests along with their local or “home” communities (or at least allowing their local allegiances to feel “heard” and not sacrificed for the sake of others)? This includes how we can help representatives who have in some sense a “dual” loyalty to the whole and to a part not have to choose between their loyalties by facilitating multilateralism. How do we address tribalism pressures within these groups while promoting and facilitating cross-border or cross-cultural cooperation for the benefit of peace and stability?



Key messages of my answers are:

  1. Move from fundamental to specific, from simple to complex.
  2. Find common ground, build trust, based on consensus.
  3. Promote benefits of multilateral action and added value of diversity.


 CICA has developed and agreed on common fundamental principles uniting all Member States – Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between CICA Member States (1999), as a starting point.

 On this fundamental basis, CICA Member States agreed on their common objectives and goals, and concrete measures to build confidence through specific activities in areas of interest to all – Almaty Act (2002), Catalogue of CBMs (2004).

 Continuous dialogue over almost 20 years, keeps strengthening common ground among Member States, as reflected in Declarations adopted by consensus on a regular basis at Ministerial and Summit levels on the most complex issues on the international agenda.

 Modus operandi is key. Consensus, as the primary decision-making rule, ensures mutual trust and “focus on commonalities”.

 Practical work and specific CICA activities are driven by Member States in a non-intrusive way. Confidence building measures are put in practice through concrete agreed activities under stewardship of any volunteering Member State, for the benefit of all others.

 This approach strengthens ownership of Member States over the entire process, demonstrates benefits of multilateral approach within the CICA framework, and ensures “celebration of differences” and added value of diversity.

Closing Statement

 In conclusion, as a representative of a multilateral forum uniting 27 States with headquarters in the heart of Eurasia, I wish to stress that Asia, seeking to consolidate itself based on the principles of the UN Charter, can offer the world new effective tools to respond to emerging threats.

 Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is one of such effective platforms. Established only over twenty years ago, it has already proved, on its own experience, that there is no alternative to multilateralism in achieving peace, security and prosperity, especially in geographic areas where conflicts, tensions or divergence of views still persist.

 Dear friends, multilateralism and inclusiveness are at the heart of the UN approach and are now proving to be of highest relevance again, after times of unilateralism driven by some members of the international community. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or climate change are only few of many global challenges which simply cannot be addressed unilaterally.

 At the same time, diligent efforts are required to gradually and harmoniously bring together universal principles and national interests, with full respect to diversity and differences among us.