President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan first presented the initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at the UN General Assembly in October 1992. Aimed the creation of a security framework for Asia along the same lines as OSCE in Europe, this initiative received solid support from many Asian nations as well as from a number of authoritative international bodies, first of all, the United Nations and the OSCE.
During the past years, the foreign ministries and experts from the interested states have collaborated within the framework of the Special Working Group to work out the cornerstone principles of the Conference.
The signatories of the Declaration confirmed their determination to respect and put into practice in their relations with each other, irrespective of their political, economic or social systems as well as of their size, geographical location and level of economic development, the following principles of fundamental significance:
1.Sovereign equality, respect for rights inherent in sovereignty 2.Refraining from the threat or use of force. 3.Territorial integrity of the Member States. 4.Peaceful settlement of disputes. 5.Non-intervention in internal affairs. 6.Economic, social and cultural cooperation 7.Human rights and fundamental freedoms
The signing of the Declaration laid the legal basis of a system of security for Asia.
Considering that this volatile region torn by protracted unresolved conflicts of the world-scale destabilizing potential, is not covered by any international security structure, the CICA has become a unique forum for establishing such a system.
The Conference is particularly important in terms that it potentially can become such a structure for Asia that would allow its members both to broaden the sphere of joint interests among the states with various foreign policy priorities and to resolve issues important for all the Asian nations.
The membership of the Conference is diverse, and includes Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Palestine National Administration, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. In June 2001, a new member, Mongolia, joined the CICA. The UN, the OSCE, as well as six countries including the United States have the observer status in this Conference.
Geographic scope of the CICA is quite large. The overall territory of these 16 countries constitutes 388 million square kilometers, which is about 89 % of the whole of Asia and 72% of Eurasia. Almost 3 billion people live in these countries, which is 45% of the world's population. The CICA members include some of the largest developing economies of the world, particularly China, India, and Russia. The members attract a considerable share of world's volumes of investment. The total hydrocarbon reserves and production of such CICA members, as Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, spanning over both Caspian region and the Persian Gulf, represent a significant portion of the world's resources base and production.
The first ever summit of heads of states of the CICA member-countries took place June 4, 2002, resulting in the creation of a new security forum for Asia.
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