On the invitation of the Chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA) Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Amb. Khusrav Noziri attended the Sixth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on October 11-12, 2021.
Among the participants of the event were ministers of foreign affairs of Bahrain, Belarus, India, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as deputy ministers of foreign affairs of a number of countries, heads of international organizations and diplomatic missions.
The heads of delegations were received by His Excellency Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Addressing the august gathering President Tokayev said that Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA), initiated by Kazakhstan right after country gained independence, has transformed into a continental platform with widest geographical coverage and all-inclusive agenda. Currently CICA has a required potential for bringing together the collective will and wisdom of the Asian countries in the interests of peace and development, maintained Mr Tokayev.
President Tokayev said that one of the ambitious priorities was turning CICA into a full-fledged organization.
Kazakhstan’s President proposed His Excellency Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who put forward in 1992 at the 47th General Assembly of the United Nations the idea of convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA), to the position of the Head of the newly created Council of Eminent Persons of CICA. President Tokayev also proposed to extend Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in CICA by two years up to 2024, since COVID-19 pandemic has been hindering the work of the chairmanship.
Discussions in the event were dedicated to the theme “Security and sustainable development in Asia in new realities of the post-pandemic world”.
CICA participating states welcomed Turkmenistan on becoming an observer in CICA.
Addressing the ministerial meeting the current Chair of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan His Excellency Mr Rashid Meredov emphasized on the readiness of ECO Chairmanship of Turkmenistan to facilitate close relations between ECO and CICA. In this regard, Minister Meredov drew attention to the transport-transit and energy issues as greatly concerning the ECO area.
Speaking at the CICA ministerial meeting ECO Secretary General Amb. Khusrav Noziri said that against the backdrop of recent challenges, including COVID-19 pandemic and evolving regional security threats, the importance of promoting CICA process and implementing the agreed confidence-building measures (CBMs) in Asia has increased manifold. ECO Secretary General stated that ECO valued its cooperative relationship with CICA and strongly believed that the joint efforts of ECO and CICA would contribute significantly in bringing durable peace and achieving sustainable prosperity in the region.
Sixth Ministeral Meeting of CICA concluded its work with adoption of updated CICA Catalogue of CBMs and Regulations of CICA Council of Eminent Persons.
The relationship between ECO and CICA was institutionalized in 2008 by signing an MoU, providing the basis for mutual cooperation between the two sides.