The sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) started on Wednesday (12 October) in Astana. The summit marks the 30th anniversary of CICA, and the end of Kazakhstan’s two-year chairmanship of the conference. The summit is also expected to agree the transformation of the process into a fully fledged international organisation.
CICA Executive Director Kairat Sarybay told Astana Times in a recent interview that among the crucial milestones of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship was its initiative to create two new institutions of CICA – the renewed and institutionalized CICA Think Tank Forum (TTF) with the objective to provide informational and analytical support to CICA and CICA Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), which is meant to become a high-level advisory body of CICA.
Another major accomplishment of CICA during Kazakhstan’s chairpersonship was updating the CICA catalog of Confidence Building Measures in 2021, which includes 18 priority areas of cooperation, such as epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals, security of and in the use of information, and communication technologies.
The sixth Summit will transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization as it was announced by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mukhtar Tileuberdi on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
According to the spokesperson of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry Aibek Smadiyarov, the summit will welcome 11 heads of state, including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will participate as an observer and the Vice Presidents of Vietnam and China will also attend the summit.
Nearly 50 delegations from member states, observer states, observer organizations, partner organizations, and guests of the chairmanship are expected to attend. The summit is anticipated as one of the most significant post-pandemic foreign policy events in Asia.