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What is the CICA and why was it created?

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia is a structure uniting the countries of the Asian continent which sets before itself a task of strengthening mutual relations and cooperation between Asian states with a view of stabilizing and safeguarding the region.

When and where the CICA initiative was put forward for the first time?

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev presented the idea on convocation of the CICA for the first time at 47-th session of General Assembly of the United Nations in October, 1992.

What preconditions for the CICA creation were available?

By the end of XX - to the beginning of XXI century, necessary conditions for successful unification of the Asian nations to address the issues of peace, safety and stability were created. It was caused by the following factors:

- The end of the era of bipolarity. The period of division of a planet as well as in Asia on two opposite camps has ended. It was replaced by a qualitatively new scheme of mutual relations between global states, which is characterized by the presence atone of the most powerful centers of influence - USA and a number of smaller centers.
- A wide spreading of globalization phenomenon and the factors accompanying it - gradual «deleting» of interstate borders, free capital flow, labour and intellectual resources, an information and so on.
- Gradual regionalization of world politics. It can be clearly observed that different states aim to solve their own essential problems at the regional level, united by the common geographical, historical and cultural factors. Not in the last instance it concerns Asia. A number of issues, such as communications, environment, water resources, counteraction to new challenges of safety, require joint regional solution.
- Qualitative transformation of the majority of the Asian nations. Common direction of development of these states can be characterized as gradual transition to the liberal democracy and market economy The fact that the majority of the CICA participant-states are societies in transition means that there is an additional impulse for cooperation between these countries in addressing a large array of issues.
- Common problems faced by regional states, which include economic difficulties, the growth of religious extremism and international terrorist activities, internal political problems, etc.

Are there any factors complicating the process of CICA creation?

The factors complicating the process of Conference creation are the following:
1. Territorial disagreements between some of its participants. This problem poses a threat for all the Asian countries without exception in view of the fact that practically each country has various religious, ethnic and cultural groups and if there are possibilities of a negative developments of a situation that would introduces additional intensity in interstate relations. As an example, the tensions between Pakistan and India, Israel and Palestine, between some of the Central Asian nations as well as others can be pointed out. A good example of a solution to territorial disputes constitutes a positive impulse generated by participants of Shanghai Cooperation Organization who managed to agree upon the territorial issues and to make a big step forward by achieving an agreement on initial confidence building measures in the border areas.
2. Problems in sphere of disarmament and arms control. Lack of trust between countries leads to accumulation of arms, including the weapon of mass destruction, thereby causing a counter-action. In some regions of Asia, arms race is taking place, which pushes its participants to the armed confrontation. As a result, the exclusive circle appears which is pernicious both for the countries directly involved in the conflict and for the whole region. In this regard, the fact that many Asian countries still have not joined the basic international agreements in sphere of disarmament and arms control is depressing.
3. Different ways of development and original mentality of the CICA member-states. Among them a wide spectrum of understanding and upholding of their national interests, own vision of solution of the regional and global policy issues is observed.
4. Currently there are numerous conflicts taking place in Asia, the result of which is a prolonged lack of trust and suspicion.

Which countries are members of the CICA?

Presently CICA include 16 countries representing the Asian continent:
- The Islamic State of Afghanistan;
- The Azerbaijan Republic;
- The Arabian Republic Egypt;
- The Republic of India;
- The State of Israel;
- The Islamic Republic of Iran;
- The Republic of Kazakhstan;
- The Chinese People's Republic;
- The Kirghiz Republic;
- The Mongolian People's Republic;
- The Islamic Republic of Pakistan;
- The Palestine State;
- The Russian Federation;
- The Republic of Tajikistan,
- The Turkish Republic;
- The Republic of Uzbekistan.

Which countries in the CICA have an observer status?

CICA includes 10 countries - observers:
I. Australia;
2. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
3. The Republic of Indonesia;
4. The Republic of Korea;
5. The Lebanese Republic;
6. Malaysia;
7. The United States of America;
8. The Kingdom of Thailand;
9. Ukraine;
10. Japan.

Which international organizations participate in the CICA?

In the CICA participate:
1. The United Nations (UN);
2. The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE);
3. League of the Arabian states (LOG);
4. Central - Asian Economic community (CAEC).

What is the geographical scope of the CICA participants?

Total area of the territory of CICA participants amounts to 38,8 million sq. km. or approximately 89% of all the territory of the Asian region and 72% of the territories of the Eurasian continent. There live more than 2,8 billion people that make 45% of the total population of the globe.

How was the process of the development of CICA undertaken?

Since October 1992, when the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan put the idea of the creation of CICA forward, the development process of the organization has passed two stages and presently is on the third stage.

What was achieved during the first stage?

During the first stage, several meetings of experts of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Asian countries were held. The experts believe that the disagreements existing in region should not become an obstacle to the creation by the countries of the region of the common approaches to the problems of safety and cooperation
The skeleton of the Conference consisting of 15 leading states of Asia, 9 observers, and also 4 international organizations was also generated.

What are the results of the second stage?

The main result of the second stage became a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CICA member-states on September 14,1999 in Almaty. Ministers have signed the first official document of the Conference - the Declaration of the principles, regulating the relations between CICA member-states that became the important promotion of the initiative on creation of the multilateral mechanism of safety and cooperation in Asia. Legal bases of system of the Asian safety with a plan of actions, measures and mechanisms of maintenance of stability in region were incorporated.

What is a primary aim of a present third stage of CICA development?

The third stage has begun right after Almaty meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs in September 14,1999 and will be prolonged before summit of the heads of the CICA nations, which is scheduled for autumn 2001. Primary goal of the stage is elaboration of CICA final document, which is going to be taken out for signing by the leaders of the states and the governments.

What bodies work in the frames of CICA?

Within the framework of the Conference, a Special working group (SWG) and a Contact group (CG) are working.

When was a Special working group created?

The special working group was created in October 1994 and became a result of a meeting of the experts of the Ministries for Foreign Affairs of the Asian states.

What is the aim of SWG?

Primary aim of SWG is preparation of CICA documents.

What is a structure of a Special Working Group?

Representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of 16 CICA member-states take part in work of session of Special working group, and also from 10 countries-observers and 4 international organizations.

How many times SWG sessions were held?

From the moment of Special working group's creation in 1994 totally 12 sessions were held. The first session was held in March, 1995. The last - in June 2001.

What are the results of SWG work?

During SWG work the drafts of CICA basic documents, such as - «Rules of CICA procedure», «Declaration of mutual relation's principles of CICA states - members», «CICA structure and institutes» were considered. An active work on elaboration of the final document of the Conference was done.

When the Contact group was created?

The Contact group was created under the initiative of Kazakhstan at a meeting of the Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs ofCICA member - states, which took place in December 3,1997.
The Contact group consists of representatives of Embassies of the member - states accredited in Kazakhstan.

What is the aim of the Group?

The aim of this body is conducting of consultations, an exchange otopinions, an expert estimation of documents of the Conference with attraction of scientific circles of the Asian countries and international organizations in the inter - session period.

What document regulates relations between CICA member-states?

The basic document regulating relations between CICA member-states is the Declaration of principles.

When was it adopted?

The Declaration of the principles was adopted on September 14, 1999 in Almaty during the meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the CICA member-states.

What provisions are included in Declaration?

This document includes basic provisions of the international security provision and principles of mutual relations of participants of the Conference:
- sovereign equality, respect of the rights inherent in the sovereignty;
- non-use of force or threat force;
- territorial integrity of member-states;
- peaceful settlement of disputes;
- non-interference in internal affairs;
- disarmament and arms control;
- economic, social and cultural cooperation;
- human rights and principal liberties.
At the same time it is emphasized that in the process of promotion to further concordance of the positions in the Declaration, the new principles of the international cooperation appropriate to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations can be added.

What is the distinctive feature of the Declaration?

On the one hand, this document represents a distinct compilation of the European experience in sphere of disarmament, trust and security, humanitarian and economic cooperation and opinions of the conference participants on problems which are inherent only in Asia and solutions to which demand on the other hand require a special approach and a specificity of region should be taken into account.

What other documents were adopted at a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CICA member-states in September 1999?

Participants of a meeting have adopted the Resolution on the further development of CICA process and also a Statement of CICA member-states with condemnation of terrorist acts in the Kyrgyz Republic.

In what stage is a process of the formulation of the final document of the Conference?

During the meeting of the Senior Officials of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence - building Measures in Asia, which took place in Almaty on September 4-5, 2001, the work on the final document was completed.

What will be the name of the final document?

The representatives of all the CICA member-states agreed that the name of the final document should be - «Almaty act».

What is an ideological basis of CICA creation?

The ideological basis for CICA creation, in brief, is a strategy of long-term development of the key regional states. For the strategy to be affective, the unification of joint efforts in reaction to the challenges of global and regional nature must take place.

What is the main difference between CICA and other structures of Asia?

CICA activity in contrast to other organizations and associations of Asia, is based on the following moments:
- expansion of the common interests among the states with various foreign policies;
- solution to the problems affecting all states of the Asian region.
This is the main function of the CICA and its work determined exactly the growing dynamism of development of the meeting as a multilateral forum.

What tactics are used in the development process of the CICA?

From the very start, CICA participants took a tactics of gradual movement from simple to complicated. It means that participants of the Conference have originally decided to discuss and to arrive at a common view regarding those problems, in resolution of which everyone is interested in and then to address issues on which consensus has not been reached and which remain disputable.
While preparing for the summit the same formula of success is used and attention is concentrated on common and acknowledged by all member-states positions, and also on those moments, which unite and do not separate the nations of the region.
What issues all CICA participants consider the necessity of discussing?

Participants of the process have the same view regarding the necessity in concentrating attention on three basic aspects of the activity:
- military-political measurement of security,
- economic cooperation;
- interaction in humanitarian and human rights fields.

What are the aims of CICA member-states?

For successful continuation of the cooperation, CICA member-states should aim to resolve successfully the following aims:
- It is important to regulate relations between the state-participants of the Conference. The majority of the largest Asian nations are the CICA members. Establishment of relations of peace, friendship, mutual understanding, good neighborhood and cooperation within the framework of this organization is the premises for peace and stability maintenance on the whole continent. In this respect Declaration of principles containing optimal principles for creation of such relations is of great importance.
- The growing struggle against religious extremism and international terrorism recently obtained important value. The CICA member-states and CICA observers should carefully examine the present situation and should elaborate and undertake appropriate counter-measures.
- It is also important to pay steadfast attention to such attendant phenomenon to extremism and terrorism like illegal arms trafficking, transnational criminality drug trade, etc.
- It is vital to deepen cooperation in other, no less important fields: economic, social, environmental, scientific and technical, cultural etc.

What are the scientific bases of CICA process?

From the very beginning it was presumed to pay special attention to creation of a scientific wing of the Conference, within the framework of which researchers of the state-participants could submit proposals on further CICA development, to carry out information interchange on the vital issues of the Asian security and to participate in decisions' preparation of the meetings of ministers and state and governments' leaders.
On October 1998, the international academic conference «Asian security in a context of CICA calling» was held, where participated heads of the research centers and institutes of 16 countries of Asia, Europe and Northern America. Participants have tried to state an expert estimation to CICA process. On June 2000 in Almaty the International seminar «Ways and methods of realization of the Declaration of the principles regulating the relations of member - states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia» took place, where participated the heads and experts of regional scientific research institutes of CICA countries - participants and CICA observers, the international organizations (the United Nations, OSCE, the LOG), and also representatives of the academic circles of other countries. During the seminar the problems of realization of the Declaration of CICA principles adopted on September 14,1999 were considered at the meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of CICA member-states. Participants discussed the challengers to the safety having place in the Asian region, the issues of trust measures strengthening, aspects of economic cooperation within the framework of the Conference, organizational issues. Upon the results of a seminar the appropriate recommendations were adopted, which will be taken into account while preparing of the final document, assumed to be signed by state and governments' leaders.
In future it is planned to hold the analogous scientific conferences aimed to increase the CICA work efficiency.

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