Relations between Turkey and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building measures in Asia (CICA)

Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and Turkey’s CICA Chairmanship

Being among the founding member states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building measures in Asia (CICA) Turkey is one of the most active members of the organization. Turkey took over the CICA Chairmanship from Kazakhstan at the Third CICA Summit held in Istanbul on 7-9 June 2010 for a period of two years. Turkey’s Chairmanship was extended by the member states for another two years (2012-2014). The CICA Chairmanship will be assumed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), when the PRC will host the Fourth CICA Summit in the middle of 2014.

The Third CICA Summit in Istanbul, held with the theme “Constructing Cooperative Security in Asia” was attended by the Heads of States and Governments, Ministers or representatives from 37 countries and Secretary Generals and Deputy Secretary Generals from 16 international organizations. Since the Third CICA Summit, the organization has expanded. Currently there are 24 member states, 9 observer states and 4 observer international organizations.

The main meetings in CICA are the Summits and the Ministerial meetings. The Fourth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CICA was held under the co-chairmanship of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov on 12 September 2012 in Astana. A comprehensive declaration was adopted at the end of the meeting. Prior to the Ministerial Meeting, a Commemorative Session regarding the 20th anniversary of the CICA process took place.

Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, the CICA Turkish Task Force, headed by an Ambassador, was formed in November 2009 with the aim of conducting the activities with respect to CICA Turkish Chairmanship. In conjunction with the initiation of Turkey’s CICA Chairmanship at the Istanbul Summit, Ambassador Çınar Aldemir was appointed as the CICA Executive Director to the CICA Secretariat in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Currently a Turkish diplomat is also actively working in the CICA Secretariat at the level of Director.

In CICA where OSCE’s operational structure is adopted, the confidence building measures (CBM’s) are evaluated under 5 main dimensions. These are the “military-political”, “economic”, “environmental”, “human” and “new challenges and threats” dimensions.

During her Chairmanship, Turkey strove to bring in a military-political agenda to the CICA, to create a CBMs culture similar to the OSCE and to initiate an effective mechanism of dialogue within this framework. In this respect, Turkey was successful in reflecting her multilateral diplomatic experience attained at the UN, OSCE, EU and NATO to the CICA geography.

During Turkey’s Chairmanship to date, 10 Special Working Group (SWG), 11 Senior Official Committee (SOC) and 7 Economic Sub-Group (ESG) meetings took place. Also, CICA-International Organization for Migration (IOM) Workshop (Antalya), Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Experts Meeting (İstanbul), 2 CICA Business Forums (Bangkok, İstanbul) and an Informal Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the CICA member states on the Margins of the 66th UN General Assembly in New York were held.

During the remaining period of the CICA Turkish Chairmanhip. the Second Informal Ministerial Meeting in New York, CICA Tourism Ministers Meeting in Adana and the 2nd CICA Experts Meeting on Combating Desertification in Konya are planned to be organized