Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It is a forum based on the recognition that there is close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world. The Member States, while affirming their commitment to the UN Charter, believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation leading to a common indivisible area of security in Asia where all states co-exist peacefully and their peoples live in peace, freedom and prosperity.
The idea of convening the CICA was first proposed by H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on 5 October 1992, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The moving spirit behind this initiative was the aspiration to set up an efficient and acceptable structure for ensuring peace and security in Asia. Unlike other regions in the world, Asia did not have such a structure at that time and earlier attempts to create a suitable structure had not been very successful. This initiative was supported by a number of Asian countries who felt that such a structure was the need of the time.
The two founding documents of CICA are Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States adopted at the First Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Almaty on 14 September 1999 and Almaty Act, the charter of the CICA, adopted at the First Summit Meeting held in Almaty on 4 June 2002. These two documents became the stepping stone towards future evolution of the CICA.
Following the spirit of the founding documents, CICA pursues its policy based on the principles of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs of the Member States and economic, social and cultural cooperation to achieve its main objective of enhancing co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. All decisions within CICA framework are taken by consensus.
Sixteen Asian states joined the CICA at the time of its inception. Presently CICA has twenty four Member States accounting for nearly ninety percent of the territory and population of Asia. Eight countries and four multi-national organizations, including United Nations, have the observer status. For becoming a member of CICA, a state must have at least a part of its territory in Asia.
The highest decision making organ of CICA is the Meeting of the CICA Heads of State and Government. The CICA Summit is convened every four years in order to conduct consultations, review the progress of, and set priorities for CICA activities. Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs is required to be held every two years. Ministerial Meetings are the central forum for consultations and examination of all issues related to CICA activities. Committee of Senior Officials meets as often as necessary, but not less than at least once a year to follow-up on previous CICA decisions, carry out consultations on the current CICA issues, oversee the work of Special Working Groups and co-ordinate the work of other meetings. Special Working Group studies specific issues, carries out the tasks mandated to it and submits reports to the Committee of Senior Officials.
Creating an environment of confidence among Member States is central to the basic objectives of CICA. CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures describes the various measures and Cooperative Approach for the implementation of the CICA CBMs lays down the procedures for implementing the confidence building measures. Within the framework of the Catalogue, the Confidence Building Measures are categorised under five broad headings: economic dimension; environmental dimension; human dimension; fight against new challenges and threats; and military-political dimension.
In view of the diverse profile of the member states, and realities typical to Asia, it was decided to begin with the realization of Confidence Building Measures in fight against new challenges and threats and economic, environmental and human dimensions. Realization of Confidence Building Measures in these areas would create sufficient goodwill and strengthen mutual relations among the member states and would eventually be the stepping stone for realization of Confidence Building Measures in military-political dimension.
The process of implementation of Confidence Building Measures within CICA framework has already commenced. Twelve Member States have volunteered to act as coordinating or co-coordinating countries for implementing specific projects of Confidence Building Measures in the areas of human dimensions; new challenges and threats (terrorism, border control management, human trafficking and trans-national crime); development of secure and effective systems of transportation corridors; combating illicit drugs; national disaster management; information technology; energy security; development of small and medium enterprises; and tourism. Concept papers and/or action plans in human dimensions, new challenges and threats and combating illicit drugs have been adopted and concept papers in other areas are under consideration.
External relations of CICA are governed by Guidelines for CICA’s External Relations. CICA seeks to establish contacts and links with United Nations and regional and international organizations in support of its efforts to enhance peace, security and economic development in Asia. CICA was conferred observer status by the United Nations General Assembly at its 62nd session in 2007. In pursuance of its efforts to establish links with other organizations, CICA has signed Memoranda of Understanding with Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM). Memoranda of Understanding with South Asian Association for Cooperation (SAARC) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are under consideration.
CICA Secretariat, the administrative body of CICA is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Secretariat comprises of Executive Director nominated by the Chairing country and Deputy Executive Director and Professional Personnel seconded by the Member States.
enhance co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia;
eradicate the menace of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations;
combat illicit drug production and trafficking;
promote trade and economic cooperation for the prosperity and stability in Asia;
cooperation on all issues relating to environment;
prevention of proliferation and eventual elimination of weapons of mass destruction;
develop measures to address humanitarian issues;
promote mutual respect, understanding and tolerance in the relations among civilizations;
facilitate implementation of Confidence Building Measures among Member States.
sovereign equality and respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty;
refraining from the threat or use of force;
territorial integrity of the States;
peaceful settlement of disputes;
non-interference in internal affairs of States;
disarmament and arms control;
economic, social and cultural cooperation;
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq,Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan,Vietnam.
(i) States: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and USA
(ii) Organisations: United Nations, OSCE, League of Arab States and Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA)
Department of South Asian, Middle East, African Affairs