Foreign Policy > International Organizations

Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

CICA is an intergovernmental forum for dialogue, consultations and adoption of decisions and measures on the basis of consensus on security issues in Asia, the observer at the UN General Assembly (December 2007). The initiative to convene CICA was put forward by President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 5, 1992.

The main objective and area of activity: enhancement of co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. Member States: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Observers: Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Ukraine, USA, Sri Lanka (states); United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, League of Arab States, TurkPA (organizations).

Structure and institutions of the CICA

Policy making bodies: 1) Meeting of Heads of States and Governments (Summit – the supreme authority, convening every 4 years), 2) Meeting of Foreign Ministers (Ministerial Meeting – the body convening in accordance with the Rules of procedure every 2 years), 3) Senior Officials Committee (SOC – the structure, holding meetings no less than once a year).

__Working bodies __

1) Special Working Groups (SWG), 2) Specialized Meetings of Experts (SME) Executive body: International Secretariat in Almaty, functioning since 2006. The CICA Executive Director - Ambassador Gong Jianwei (China), Deputy Executive Director - Ms. A.Bakytbekkyzy (Kazakhstan), professional staff (representatives of Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia, India and Iran). The main meetings: the First Ministerial Meeting (1999), the First Summit (2002), the Second Ministerial Meeting (2004), the Second Summit (2006), the Third Ministerial Meeting (2008), the Third Summit (2010), the Fourth Ministerial Meeting (2012), the Fourth CICA Summit (2014). Founding documents: Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States (signed by the CICA Foreign Ministers in 1999), Almaty Act (signed by Heads of States and Governments of the CICA in 2002).

__Basic documents __

Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures, Rules of Procedure (adopted in 2004 with amendments of 2014), Statute of the CICA Secretariat and its appendix – Financial rules (signed in 2006, ratified by Kazakhstan in February, 2007), Regulation on the CICA symbols, Cooperative approach for implementation of the CBMs, Guidelines for the CICA’s External Relations (adopted in 2007), Host Country Agreement (signed in 2007, ratified by Kazakhstan in March, 2008), Protocol amending the Statute of the CICA Secretariat (signed in 2008), the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its personnel and representatives of the CICA (signed in 2010, ratified by Kazakhstan in November, 2011).

Political declarations

Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations (2002), Declaration of the Second Ministerial Meeting (2004), Declaration of the Second Summit of Heads of States and Governments (2006), Declaration of the Third Ministerial Meeting (2008), Declaration of the Third Summit of Heads of States and Governments (2010), Declaration of the Forth Ministerial Meeting (2012), Declaration of the Fourth CICA Summit (2014). Official holiday: October 5 (the CICA Day). Official language: English. Working languages: English and Russian. Official website of the CICA Secretariat:

Historical background 

The idea of convening the CICA was first proposed by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 5, 1992. Aspiration to establish an efficient and acceptable structure for ensuring peace and security in the region was the motivation of this initiative. Unlike other regions in the world, for that moment there was no such a structure in Asia, and earlier attempts for its creation were not a success.  From the very beginning the idea of convocation of the CICA has found support of a number of the Asian states defining the political climate on the continent, and the international organizations (the United Nations, the OSCE, and the LAS). During realization of the initiative in 1993-1994 three meetings of the representatives of Foreign Ministries of Asian states were held. Following the results of the given meetings a Special Working Group (SWG) was established. The task of the Group includes preparation of documents for the meeting.

Preparatory process. In 1993-1994 during the meetings of the representatives of the Asian countries’ MFA drafts of the CICA basic documents, i.e. “Rules of Procedure of the CICA”, “Declaration of the principles of mutual relations of the CICA Member States”, “Structure and institutions of the CICA”, were considered.  In 1996-1997, in Almaty, two meetings of Deputy Foreign Ministers of the CICA Member States were held. In October 1998, in Almaty the international colloquium on the CICA issues, which was attended by 24 experts from 12 States took place.

The First CICA Ministerial Meeting

On September 14, 1999 the First Ministerial Meeting was held. During this meeting the Declaration, regulating relations between the Member States of the meeting – a kind of a prototype of the legal framework for establishment of Asian security and cooperation system was signed.

Thus, for the first time the legal framework of the Asian security, with specific actions, measures and mechanisms to ensure stability in the region were laid. The First CICA Summit. On June 4, 2002 the First summit of the Forum, which brought together the heads of Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, the Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan and India, the authorized officials of Iran, Egypt, Palestine and Israel, the representatives of States and observer organizations. During the Summit the Heads of States and Governments of the Conference agreed to provide the CICA with the necessary structure and institutions to improve the efficiency of its functioning and instructed the Foreign Ministers to finalize all aspects of establishment of the CICA Secretariat to provide administrative support for regular meetings and political consultations and other activities within the framework of the forum.

According to the results the Almaty Act was signed and the Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations was adopted. The Second CICA Ministerial Meeting. On October 22, 2004 the Second Ministerial Meeting, which resulted in the adoption of the Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures, Rules of Procedure and Declaration of the Second CICA Ministerial Meeting, was held. Admittance of the Kingdom of Thailand as the 17th CICA Member State on the eve of the event became another important event.

According to the participants, the value of the adopted Catalogue of the Confidence Building Measures cannot be overestimated, since for the first time in the history of the Asian continent such a large-scale document that envisages multilateral cooperation between the countries on a wide range of issues of stability and security has appeared. The Declaration reflects the consolidated position of the vision and the CICA Member States on the key security issues in the world and the region. The heads of delegations stressed the need to develop a unified approach to solving the outstanding problems, directions of further cooperation in the context of confidence-building measures contained in the Catalogue.

The Second CICA Summit

On June 17, 2006 the Second Summit of the Forum was held. During the Summit a comprehensive policy document – the Declaration of the second Summit was adopted and the basic document on practical structuring of the meeting – the Statute of the CICA Secretariat was signed. The Declaration reflects the common vision of the Member States on the key issues of security and cooperation in Asia and the in world on the whole, the proposals of the Member States on development of a universal approach to addressing unresolved issues, and the need for practical implementation of the CICA Confidence Building Measures which included in the Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures 2004, and the further development process was declared. On the same day, after signing of the relevant statutory document the CICA Secretariat was opened in Almaty. It is temporary located in the representative office of the MFA in Almaty. The Third CICA Ministerial Meeting: The Third Ministerial Meeting held on August 25, 2008 in Almaty was attended by delegations of 19 Member States, 7 observer-countries s and 6 international and regional organizations. A particular attention was paid to the practical implementation of the Cooperative approach. The meeting was productive enough: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates were granted the full member status, and the State of Qatar joined the CICA as an observer. The Declaration “The CICA Progress in implementation of Confidence Building Measures” and the final decision of the Ministerial Meeting were adopted.

The Protocol on amendments of the Statute of the CICA Secretariat, providing for the transfer of the CICA Secretariat headquarters from Almaty to Astana was signed. President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as the CICA Chairman, welcoming the start of executing confidence building measures in the human, economic and environmental dimensions as well as in combating new challenges and threats, spoke about the feasibility of implementation of practical work on development and strengthening cooperation in the military political dimension, which in the long run should become one of the most important areas of the Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures. The Third CICA Summit. On June 8, 2010 in Istanbul the Third Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the CICA Member States was held. During the Summit for the first time in history of the Conference Chairmanship was transferred from the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Turkey.

9 Heads of States and Governments, 6 Vice-Presidents, Speakers of Parliament and Deputy Prime Ministers, 14 Ministers and Special Envoys participated in the Summit. 16 international organizations attended the meeting.

The Meeting coincided with the Chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE. Under the auspices of the OSCE on June 7, 2010 a special event: “Cooperation in the sphere of economy and security in the 21st century in Eurasia” was held. It was attended by the heads of the OSCE Foreign Ministries, the Asian partner countries of the OSCE and the CICA Member States. The event was very useful in terms of interaction between the OSCE and the CICA.

Member States after long and intensive negotiations adopted the Declaration of the Summit, in which along with the regional issues (the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iraq), they managed to reflect the current issues of peace, security and stability, socio-economic development and culture. The condition on the need to resume negotiations on the establishment of the Palestinian state included in the document has become a significant achievement of the Summit. Signing of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its personnel and representatives of the CICA, which had almost completed the institutionalization of the meeting, became a great success of the Summit.

Thus, the 3rd CICA Summit made a significant contribution to further strengthening the international authority of Kazakhstan. On September 26, 2011 in New York on the initiative of the Turkish presidency on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly the first informal meeting of the CICA Foreign Ministers was held. An important aspect of the meeting was the signing of the CICA basic documents by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Cambodia. In April 2012 Kazakhstan’s r proposal to extend the Chairmanship of Turkey for next two years tenure received the support of most CICA Member States. Therefore Turkey which assumed CICA Chairmanship in June 2010 will continue to hold the CICA Chairmanship for the period 2012-14. 

The Commemorative session and the Forth CICA Ministerial Meeting: the CICA Commemorative session and Fourth Ministerial Meeting held on September 12, 2012 in Astana was attended by delegations of 24 Member States, 8 observer countries and 16 international and regional organizations. The Commemorative session dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the idea of convening CICA was opened by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Ministerial Meeting was co-chaired by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

During the meeting Foreign Ministers of the CICA Member States exchanged views on regional and global issues, and discussed ways of strengthening cooperation, peace and security in Asia as well as the prospects for further development of CICA.The granting the CICA observer status to TurkPA, and an announcement made by China about its readiness to be the next CICA Chairman became a significant event of the meeting. In October 2012 the candidacy of China for the next CICA Chairmanship for the period of 2014-2016 years was approved by the Member States through the silence procedure.

Following the results of the CICA Commemorative session and the Fourth Ministerial Meeting a Declaration was adopted, in which issues of importance in the field of peace, security, stability and socio-economic development of the region, along with regional problems were reflected. The Declaration should give new impetus to the Conference in promoting peace and security in Asia.

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in his speech at the Commemorative session suggested transforming CICA into an organization.  On 25 September 2013 in New York on the grounds of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly was held an informal meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs initiated by the Turkish Chairmanship. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, during which representatives of the CICA Member States exchanged their views on a range of issues on the international agenda, and ways of further development of the Conference.

The Fourth CICA Summit 

The Fourth Summit of CICA took place on 20-21 May 2014 in Shanghai (PRC) during which China assumed chairmanship over CICA from Turkey. 47 states and international organizations attended the Meeting. For the first time, the UN Secretary General took part in the Summit, Qatar and Bangladesh joined the CICA as full members and a number of important documents, namely the Memorandum of Understanding between the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Secretariat of CICA and the new Rules of Procedure which considerably concretized a legal framework of its activity, were signed and approved.

Following the results of the Summit, the political Declaration «Enhancing Dialogue, Trust and Coordination for a New Asia of Peace, Stability and Cooperation» was adopted. The purposes and the tasks set in the Declaration, give a clear understanding that the Chinese chairmanship in CICA will be focusing on strengthening of political and social and economic security measures in Asia, ensuring trust and mutual respect through establishing its new architecture.  In his Speech at the Summit the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed an initiative for establishment on the basis of CICA - Organization for Security and Development in Asia (OSDA).