Kazakhstan News Bulletin Released weekly by the Embassy of The Republic of Kazakhstan

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Almaty Act

Preamble

We, the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA),

Having met in Almaty at a time of profound changes which are taking place in Asia and the world to set up our vision of security in Asia and enhance our capabilities for co-operation on issues of common concern for our peoples;

Recognising the close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world;

Committing ourselves to working to ensure peace and security in Asia and making it a region open to dialogue and co-operation;

Believing that the CICA process presents new opportunities for co-operation, peace and security in Asia;

Declaring our determination to form in Asia a common and indivisible area of security, where all states peacefully co-exist, and their peoples live in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity, and confident that peace, security and development complement, sustain and reinforce each other;

Reaffirming our commitment to the UN Charter, as well as to the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations Among CICA Member States, which is an integral part of the Almaty Act, as the basis for our future co-operation;

Considering that all aspects of comprehensive security in Asia, including its political and military aspects, confidence-building measures, economic and environmental issues, humanitarian and cultural co-operation, are interdependent and interrelated and should be pursued actively;

Confident that full, equal and comprehensive implementation and observance of the principles, provisions and commitments enshrined in the Almaty Act will create the conditions for advanced co-operation among the CICA Member States and will guide us towards a better future, which our peoples deserve;

Have adopted the following:

I. Security and co-operation

1. The main objective and thrust of the CICA will be to enhance co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

2. In order to achieve this objective, the Member States will take the necessary steps to develop the CICA as a forum for dialogue, consultations and adoption of decisions and measures on the basis of consensus on security issues in Asia.

3. We call upon and continue to encourage all Member States who are parties to a dispute to settle this peacefully in conformity with the principles envisaged in the UN Charter.

4. Recognising the contribution which increased trade and economic co-operation can make for the prosperity and stability in Asia and to the well-being of their peoples, we will make further efforts to promote initiatives in these fields, as mentioned in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations among the CICA Member States. We also recognise the need for better co-operation on all issues which constitute risks to the environment.

5. The Member States reiterate their belief that protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the UN Charter and the international conventions and instruments to which they are parties contributes to the consolidation of peace, security and stability in Asia. They also declare their readiness to further their co-operation in this field in a spirit of friendliness.

6. We consider that humanitarian issues, such as natural disasters and refugee flows, are areas of common concern since they also affect stability and security in the region. The Member States are resolved to developing measures, where necessary, to address these issues through co-operation in the region as well as with the UN and other relevant international organisations.

7. We believe that enhancing mutual respect, mutual understanding and tolerance in the relations among civilisations is an important goal for our times. Noting with satisfaction the designation of the first year of the millennium as the year of Dialogue among Civilisations, we shall encourage and strengthen this process.

8. We consider globalisation as a challenge of our time. While it could offer certain opportunities for growth and development, at present the benefits of globalisation are unevenly shared among the nations and much remains to be done to ensure that its benefits be comprehensively and equitably distributed at the global level.

9. Joint actions and co-ordinated responses are necessary to deal with challenges and threats that our states and peoples are faced with.

II. Challenges to security

10. The Member States seek to promote regional and international security and stability, which will also contribute to peaceful settlement of existing and prevention of the emergence of new crisis situations and disputes.

11. The continuing existence and proliferation in all its aspects of nuclear weapons, as well as chemical and biological weapons, pose a great threat to all humanity. The Member States pledge to support the efforts for the global elimination of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and therefore they commit themselves to an increased co-operation for the prevention of proliferation of all such weapons, including nuclear weapons, which constitute a particular danger to international peace and security.

12. With the end of the Cold War, the opportunity now exists for the international community to pursue nuclear disarmament as a matter of the highest priority. We shall encourage all nations to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibilities of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers and negotiating a comprehensive and verifiable nuclear weapons convention. We affirm the importance of the early realisation of the universal adherence to the multilaterally negotiated instruments on the elimination of WMD, and urge those states not yet party to these instruments to accede to them as soon as possible.

13. We support the establishment of zones free from nuclear weapons and other WMD in Asia on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned. The establishment of such zones in regions for which consensus resolutions of the UN General Assembly exist, such as the Middle East and Central Asia, should be encouraged; in this context, we invite adherence to internationally negotiated disarmament and non-proliferation instruments in accordance with all the provisions of the relevant consensus resolutions of the UN and the positions of states concerned on the implementation of these resolutions.

14. The Member States reaffirm their belief in the need of ensuring security at the lowest level of armament and military forces. We recognise the necessity to curb excessive and destabilising accumulation of conventional armaments. We emphasise the importance of the maintenance of the international strategic stability to world peace and security and to the continued progress of arms control and disarmament. We emphasise the importance of multilateral negotiations on the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

15. We believe that direct or indirect threat or use of force in violation of the UN Charter and international law against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the states; denial of the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under foreign occupation (a right which has to be exercised in accordance with the UN Charter and international law); interference in the internal affairs of states and offensive strategic doctrines pose threats to regional and international peace.

16. The Member States unconditionally and unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as any support or acquiescence to it and the failure to directly condemn it. The threat posed by terrorism has been increasingly growing over the last decade. Terrorism in all its forms is a trans-national threat, which endangers the lives of individuals and peoples and undermines the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and security of states. The menace of terrorism has been magnified by its close links with drug trafficking, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and their transfers in any form to terrorist groups, racist ideologies, separatism, all forms of extremism which present basic sources of financing and providing manpower for terrorist activities. We regard as criminal all acts, methods and practices of terrorism and declare our determination to co-operate on bilateral as well as multilateral basis to combat terrorism including its possible sources. In order to eradicate this menace to peace and security, we shall reinforce and unite our efforts in order not to allow terrorism in any form to be prepared, assisted, launched and financed from the territory of any state and we shall refuse to provide terrorists with safe haven and protection.

17. We recognise that implementation of the UN Conventions will contribute to tackling the problems of terrorism and support the elaboration of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

18. Separatism is one of the main threats and challenges to the security and stability, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of states. The Member States shall not support on the territory of another Member State any separatist movements and entities, and, if such emerge, not to establish political, economic and other kinds of relations with them, not to allow the territories and communications of the Member States to be used by the above-mentioned movements and entities, and not to render them any kind of economic, financial and other assistance. We reaffirm the right of people living under foreign occupation for self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.

19. We reject the use of religion as a pretext by terrorists and separatist movements and groups to achieve their objectives. We also reject all forms of extremism and will work to promote tolerance among our nations and peoples.

20. Illicit drug trafficking represents a major threat to internal and international stability and security of our states and our continent as a whole as well as to the well-being of our peoples. This problem is closely linked with the socio-economic and political situation in several regions, terrorist activities across the world, and international criminal groups engaged in trans-national crime, money laundering and illicit SALW trafficking. We recognise that there are several states in Asia which require priority attention and assistance by the international community in order to combat drug trafficking. We also recognise the need for effective strategies to reduce production, supply and demand for drugs. In this respect, we will co-operate to monitor suspicious financial flows, including issues related to incomes and transparency of bank operations in accordance with the existing international legal instruments, and to identify the sources of production, consumption and trafficking of drugs. In order to assist the practical implementation of these tasks, multinational training courses and exercises as well as exchange of information among the competent authorities of the Member States will be promoted. We also call upon major consuming countries to play a more active role in providing equipment, training and educational courses, rehabilitation, technical and financial assistance to Asian drug producing and transit countries. Adoption and implementation of crop substitution plans and alternative development strategies in drug producing regions in Asia should also be encouraged to tackle the menace of illicit drugs more effectively.

21. We also recognise corruption as a trans-national crime which calls for concerted multilateral action. In this regard, we emphasise the need for banning the transfer of illicit funds and wealth and also the need for enhanced international co-operation in tracing and repatriating such assets.

22. The Member States recognise that illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons poses a threat to peace and security and is directly linked with terrorist activity, separatist movements, drug trafficking and armed conflicts. In this context, we underline the importance of the Firearms Protocol reached in the framework of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Programme of Action adopted by the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects which was held in New York in July 2001.
23. We are determined to co-operate with each other on bilateral and multilateral basis to prevent such threats to peace and security in Asia.

III. Confidence Building Measures

24. In the context of achieving CICA objectives, we will take the necessary steps for the elaboration and implementation of measures aimed at enhancing co-operation and creating an atmosphere of peace, confidence and friendship. Such measures should be in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, CICA, and international law. In doing so, we will take into account specific features and characteristics in various regions in Asia and proceed on a gradual and voluntary basis.

25. We encourage all states in the region having disputes to make efforts to solve their disputes peacefully through negotiations in accordance with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law. We recognise that the resolution of territorial and other disputes and implementation of arms control agreements may, depending upon specific situations, facilitate implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs); on the other hand, we also recognise that implementation of CBMs may, depending upon specific situations, facilitate, or create a conducive climate for, the resolution of disputes and arms control agreements.

26. We recognise that disarmament and arms control, universality of all internationally negotiated instruments on the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, promoting non-proliferation, have a significant role in enhancing confidence building among regional states. We affirm that being a State Party to the relevant internationally negotiated instruments should not be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all parties to those treaties to develop research, production and use of nuclear technology, chemical and biological materials and equipment for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of these instruments. We reiterate the importance of negative security assurances to the non-nuclear-weapon states and express our readiness to consider further steps on this subject which could take the form of an internationally legally binding instrument.

27. The Member States will prepare with mutual agreement a "CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures" and proceed on a gradual basis for its implementation. The Catalogue, which will be regularly reviewed and further developed, may include, among others, measures in the militarypolitical, economic and environmental, humanitarian and cultural spheres.

IV. Structure and institutions of CICA

28. In order to facilitate its efficient functioning, we have decided to provide for CICA the necessary structure and institutions, consisting mainly of the following:

1. Regular meetings

29. The meetings of the Heads of State or Government will be convened every four years in order to conduct consultations, review the progress of, and set priorities for CICA activities. Special meetings may be convened as necessary by consensus. Summit meetings will be preceded by meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

30. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet every two years. Their meetings will be the central forum for consultations and examination of all issues related to CICA activities. Special meetings may be convened as necessary by consensus.

31. The Committee of Senior Officials will meet at least once a year to follow-up on previous CICA decisions, carry out consultations on the current CICA issues, oversee the work of Special Working Groups and co-ordinate the work of other meetings. The Committee will also make the necessary preparations for the organisation of the Summit and ministerial meetings, including elaboration of draft documents.

32. Special Working Groups will be established to study specific issues relevant to CICA's areas of interest and to carry out the tasks mandated to them. They will submit the results of their work to the Committee of Senior Officials.

2. Specialised meetings

33. The Member States may agree to convene meetings of other ministers or of the competent national agencies and institutions in order to discuss issues of a specific and/or technical nature.

3. Academic and professional inputs

34. Opportunities will be provided as necessary for academic and professional inputs and reports, as well as assistance and contributions to publications which CICA may decide to produce.

4. Secretariat

35. In order to provide follow-up and administrative support for regular meetings and political consultations and other activities mentioned in the Almaty Act, we support the establishment of a Secretariat of the CICA. We task our Ministers of Foreign Affairs to finalise the elaboration of all aspects related to the establishment of the Secretariat.

Done in Almaty, June 4, 2002