Constructing Cooperative Approach To Interaction And Security In Asia Through Political And Security Dialogue

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The initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was taken by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. ...

The initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was taken by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. The meetings of CICA started at the first half of 1990’s. The conference type meetings turned out to be a permanent structure in 2002. In this sense CICA has completed its ten years of fully fledged organizational functioning. CICA has currently 24 member states, 8 observer states and 3 observer international organizations.

The membership portfolio of CICA is diverse. Member States of CICA have divergent perceptions on the nature and sources of security risks and threats across the CICA geography. In that context, CICA is a unique, sui generis organization bringing together states that have different perceptions on security.

The founding documents of CICA are the Almaty Act of 2002 and its integral part “Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States of 1999“. These documents set the basic framework for the relations between the member states.

Almaty Act of CICA mentions number of fundamental concepts of international security. It refers to indivisibility of security, comprehensive concept of security, equal security. In the context of “comprehensive security“, it mentions the environmental issues, economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Almaty Act of 2002 and ensuing agreed documents in CICA extensively cover the topic of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). CICA Catalogue of CBMs includes number of CBMs in the dimensions of military-political, economic, environmental, human and fight against new challenges and threats.

Turkey took over the CICA Chairmanship from Kazakhstan at the beginning of the CICA Summit held on 8 June 2010 for two years. Turkish CICA Chairmanship has been extended recently by the member states for two more years. Turkey will be CICA Chairman until June 2014.

Turkey’s Chairmanship vision for CICA is “constructing cooperative security in Asia“. In developing this vision we analyzed the basic security concepts contained in the CICA founding documents. We worked on the concepts of indivisibility of security and comprehensive security. We took into account the declared intention and the commitment of member states to achieve openness, mutual trust and their determination to enhance confidence and cooperation in the interest of stability, economic and social development in their region and the world.


The changing political and security environment at the end of the 20th century has opened new avenues for common efforts in the field of security. Cooperation has become a key word in bringing together states with different values and divergent interests. For security there needs be a willingness to cooperate. Cooperation necessitates accommodation of interests.

In that sense, cooperative security approach, from our perspective, is a pertinent way to bring together states with different values and divergent interests. Cooperative security does not require a specific adversary. It is inclusive, non-adversarial and non-confrontational. There is no loser in the cooperative security. It aims at creating a win-win outcome. In fact, cooperative security is a non-zero-sum game. Cooperative approach to security rests on the underlying premise that security is indivisible. Cooperative security order is a transparent order. There are no hidden agendas in cooperative security.

In this context, the importance of dialogue comes into scene as a means of attaining common goals, dispelling concerns, misunderstandings and misinterpretations regarding peace, security and stability.

As the chairman of CICA, Turkey, during the past two years has relentlessly tried to promote the political and security dialogue in CICA. We have tried to create a more conducive atmosphere for dialogue and invited member-states to share their perceptions concerning the security issues with other member states. In fact, this approach bears its fruits. Member states are now more comfortable in sharing their visions on security with others. For example, Russian Federation and China made presentations in CICA concerning the “Joint Russian-Chinese Initiative on Strengthening Security in the Asia Pacific Region“. Russian Federation and China expressed their stand for establishing in the Asia Pacific region a transparent security architecture. This example shows us that even delicate issues like “security architecture“ may be discussed in an atmosphere of dialogue.

We are very pleased that CICA has covered a long distance during the Turkish Chairmanship and reached 20th year of its initiation. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CICA will come together for their fourth official meeting in Astana on 12 September 2012. This is also an occasion to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the CICA process.

Passing decade confirmed that only through interaction and dialogue we can build cooperative security order in Asia. It seems that economic power is shifting towards the east and this trend compels us to safeguard our growth and well-being by enhancing confidence and cooperation. We are cognizant of the fact that constructing cooperative security order in Asia is a gigantic task. Nevertheless we should work patiently to accomplish this task. There is no doubt that it will take time. Patience is the key word in searching for cooperative security order. We should remember that twenty years ago when President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan first pronounced the idea of CICA in the UN General Assembly, it was only a vision. For some people even it was only a dream. In fact CICA is a good example of turning the dreams into reality. Turkey, as the Chairman of CICA, will continue to work steadfastly to promote the idea of constructing cooperative security order in Asia.
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Africa 0 144
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