This milestone decision has been a key priority of Kazakhstan’s chairpersonship in CICA in 2020-2022. The transformation into an organization will affect development priorities as Kazakhstan renews its chairpersonship for the next two years.
“Are there any objections to the adoption of documents on the transformation of the CICA? There are no objections. The Astana statement on the transformation of CICA is considered to be accepted,” said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the summit.
The importance of this transformation was first raised by Tokayev in October 2021 during his meeting with the delegations participating in the sixth meeting of CICA foreign ministers. He said back then that CICA possessed all the elements of an international organization, including fundamental documents, governing and working bodies, an operating budget, a permanent secretariat, and its transformation will “emphasize Asia’s new role in global affairs.”
The sixth CICA summit, which continues today in Astana, also adopted a draft statement by CICA leaders on cooperation, on security and the use of information and communications technology, a document to establish the CICA Fund and CICA action plan on the implementation of the United Nations resolution on counterterrorism.
TEXT OF THE DECLARATION:
We, the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), having met on 12-13 October 2022 in Astana on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the CICA process,
DECIDED TO CHART THE FUTURE COURSE OF OUR COOPERATION AS FOLLOWS:
- We hereby launch the structured, inclusive and transparent negotiations process of gradual, incremental and consensus-based transformation of CICA into a full-fledged regional international organization;
- The process of transforming CICA will pursue the following major goals: defining the overarching areas of our future cooperation and strengthening the organizational and institutional base of our interaction;
- We also envision our organization as contributing to dynamic, equitable, comprehensive and balanced economic growth, connectivity, social and cultural development of its Member States. We will strengthen our collective work within our organization in order to seek joint solutions for our common challenges of the twenty first century towards a secure and prosperous region and to pursue peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the UN Charter;
- Our organization will interact and cooperate in areas of interest of all Member States with other states, organizations and fora sharing the same goals and principles for the purpose of strengthening results-oriented and consensus-based multilateral cooperation in our region;
- As the first step of the transformation process, we decide that:
(1) The Meeting of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Meeting) shall henceforth be referred to, respectively, as the Council of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Council);
(2) The Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat shall henceforth be referred to as Secretary General;
(3) The Secretariat will submit to the Member States, through the Chairmanship, proposals for amendments to the relevant CICA documents for approval by the respective governing bodies;
- The Member States will determine, when and as appropriate, the details of the transformation process, including criteria for membership, and, with a view to taking a meaningful practical step to that end, we request the Chairmanship to make proposals in 2023, with the assistance of the Secretary General and in close consultation with Member States, on a road map of necessary measures in the transformation process for consideration by the Member States;
- We congratulate CICA on the considerable progress it has achieved in 30 years of evolution and request the Chairmanship to submit progress reports on the transformation process to the next meetings of the Ministerial Council and the Council of Heads of State or Government.