The President of Kazakhstan held a meeting with the heads of the delegations participating in the meeting of the CICA Council of Foreign Ministers

The President of Kazakhstan held a meeting with the heads of the delegations participating in the meeting of the CICA Council of Foreign Ministers

At the Akorda Palace, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held a meeting with the heads of delegations participating in the 6th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CICA. The event was attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Belarus, India, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the Minister of Tourism of Israel, as well as deputy heads of foreign ministries of a number of countries, heads of international organizations and diplomatic missions.

Welcoming the participants of the meeting, the Head of State noted that the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, initiated by Kazakhstan at the dawn of its Independence, was transformed into a continental platform with a wide geographical representation and a comprehensive agenda.

According to the President, today CICA has the appropriate potential to consolidate the collective will and wisdom of Asian states in the interests of peace, cooperation and development.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed gratitude to all member states and the secretariat of the Meeting for fruitful cooperation within the framework of the Kazakhstan's chairmanship.

“As you know, we have identified a number of ambitious priorities aimed at achieving the strategic goal of transforming the CICA into a full-fledged international organization. CICA already possesses all the necessary elements of an international organization, including founding documents, governing and working bodies, an operational budget and a permanent secretariat. The proposed transformation will highlight Asia's new role in global affairs. This step will also confirm the commitment of the member states to create truly common, indivisible and comprehensive security architecture on the largest continent,” the President of Kazakhstan is convinced.

At the same time, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recalled the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly limited the possibilities of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the CICA. In this regard, he invited the Member States of the Meeting to support the following proposals.

“Firstly, I consider it a great honor to nominate the founder of the CICA, the First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, for the post of head of the Council of Wise Men. Secondly, I am announcing Kazakhstan's application for a new term of the CICA chairmanship for 2022-2024. If approved, we pledge to use the renewed mandate to strengthen collective efforts to fulfill the noble mission of the CICA,” said the Head of State.

The President of Kazakhstan expressed the opinion that in the changing strategic environment, the Asian continent is turning into the main field of the geopolitical battle.

“I am convinced that the 21st century will really belong to Asia, if we can develop a truly unified and constructive approach, assume great responsibility and obligations. In this regard, as never before, we pin our hopes on the CICA as the only forum capable of forming a new configuration of Asian security, cooperation and common prosperity,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

Addressing the diplomats, the President of Kazakhstan outlined a number of urgent tasks that will be in the focus of the CICA in the coming years.

According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, confidence building and conflict prevention should remain the basis of the CICA. He noted the success of work on the development of an updated Catalog of Confidence Building Measures, which covered new priority areas of cooperation, such as epidemiological security, public health and pharmaceuticals, information technology, and the fight against terrorism.

The Head of State named the current situation in and around Afghanistan as the second urgent task.

“The five Central Asian states are particularly interested in getting Afghanistan back on track. Kazakhstan's appeal is simple and clear - we are striving for the Great Benefit, and not for the Great Game in the heart of Asia,” the President said.

With the ongoing pandemic, the President highlighted the need to ensure widespread access to vaccines. He confirmed the intention of Kazakhstan through the QazVac vaccine to make a feasible contribution to strengthening the overall health system. The head of state called on the CICA partners to intensify collective efforts within the framework of a new confidence-building measure on epidemiological security.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also noted that the pandemic could become a turning point that will open up new opportunities for strengthening Asia's role in the world.

“Our region is already a global center of gravity. It contains 60% of the world's population and about 40% of world GDP in purchasing power parity. The continent has such powerful economic formations as the Eurasian Economic Union, ASEAN, APEC and the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership. To increase the stability of our economies, CICA, in my opinion, will have to pay special attention to cooperation with these organizations,” the President said.

The head of state stressed that the Meeting is constantly working to strengthen its economic dimension, in particular, new measures are being taken to ensure the security of financial transactions, pipelines and logistics routes. In addition, he pointed out the importance of further development of transport corridors in the CICA space.

“Long-term investments in continental infrastructure projects open up broad opportunities in this area. According to the estimates of international financial institutions, it is necessary to invest $ 1.7 trillion annually in this direction until 2030," said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Much attention was paid to climate issues. The President stated that in the context of global climatic changes, the ideas of sustainable development should find real reflection in the policies of the CICA member states.

“Today the Asia-Pacific region is more and more susceptible to various natural disasters. It accounts for over 40% of the world's natural disasters and 84% of the affected population. These issues are of particular relevance in the run-up to the COP26 Summit, the most important climate forum after the Paris Conference. The high-quality implementation of the agreements in Glasgow is of great importance to prevent further loss of life and lower living standards. We hope for the assistance of your countries in promoting these pressing issues,” the Head of State said.

At the same time, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed concern over the growth of extreme weather events that damage food and water security in Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions of Asia.

“Kazakhstan, as an active participant in global food supply chains, as well as the initiator of the creation of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, believes that these issues should be a priority in the CICA agenda. This is important to support our inclusive growth and social well-being, especially in the post-COVID period,” the President said.

The head of state expressed the opinion that against the background of the escalation of geopolitical tensions, the "technological iron curtain" is acquiring more and more real outlines. In this regard, he outlined Kazakhstan's interest in deepening technological partnership with the CICA member countries to mitigate new risks. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed the great importance of including cooperation in the IT field as a new confidence-building measure in the CICA Catalog.

“We welcome the results of the CICA financial summit. Today Kazakhstan is becoming one of the important players in the financial market in the Eurasian space. Here I would like to note the Astana International Financial Center. Today it is a dynamic financial platform that combines the best experience of world institutions and uses the latest tools based on English law. I invite CICA partners to more actively use the opportunities of the AIFC,” said the Head of State.

In conclusion, the President stressed that all his proposals are aimed at achieving a common goal - building a safer, more stable and prosperous Asia. In this context, he highlighted the importance of the 6th CICA summit, which will be held next year in Kazakhstan. According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, it is to determine the course "New Asia in the New World." The head of state said that he attaches exceptional importance to this event and invited the leaders of the CICA member countries to take an active part in its work.

By the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda