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Statement by Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey at the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, 21 May 2014, Shanghai

H.E. President Şi Jinping,
Honorable Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished Participants,

It gives me great pleasure and honor to address the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

Before starting, I would like to extend greetings of President Gül who had to postpone his visit to China as well as his participation to this conference due to the tragic mine accident in Soma, Turkey. I also wish to thank all countries, first and foremost China, around this table who showed solidarity with the Turkish nation.

With this feeling, allow me to greet with most cordial feelings the Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegations and Ministers, as well as Secretary Generals and representatives of the international organizations participating in Shanghai Summit.

I commend the Chinese authorities for the excellent organization of this Summit and express our heartfelt thanks for the warm hospitality extended to the CICA family.

This Conference, the intellectual mentor of which is the Esteemed President of Kazakhistan H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, has become an institutionalized regional forum since the conclusion of Almaty Act in 2002. Its membership has grown within a short time. The geography it covers has further expanded. Today, we are proud to extend the chairmanship from a western point of the group to an important country at an eastern edge of the conference. This vast geography actually confirms the importance of the Silk Road as our Chinese friends very well demonstrated with their rich culture last night.

But today, in addition to enlarged cooperation of the past, CICA also aims to establish “security cooperation” in a geography where more than 4 billion people live.

As a founding member, Turkey has given strong support to CICA ever since its inception. In close cooperation with our partners, we have shown how a visionary ideal can yield concrete results.

Distinguished Participants,

I would like to categorize my remarks in three dimensions:

1) What we are facing?
2) What Turkish Chairmanship has done?
3) What our vision should be?

Firstly, what we are facing?

The world has been going through a rapid transformation process. The Asian continent seems reborn with renewed energy, dynamism and young population in a world globalizing with an astonishing pace.

Indeed, the continents, regions and countries which were the center of gravity of the world a century ago are regaining their previous stature.

Asia is developing rapidly and offering more prosperous lives for its peoples.

However, this process confronts us with several challenges such as terrorism, organized crime and illicit human trafficking.

The scope of the traditional security concepts based on military means is now faced with a significantloss of relevance. New security concept putting democracy and human rights as the main objective and based on justice and good governance has gradually gained prominence.

From this perspective, justice, good governance and security should be seen as inseparable components.

Good governance, which strives to meet the legitimate expectations of people through justice and equity, is of crucial importance for lasting security, economic development and social harmony.

To achieve this objective, a comprehensive security approach that encompasses political, military, economic and human dimensions is called for.

Secondly, what Turkish Chairmanship has done?

For Turkey, enhancing multilateral cooperation and dialogue has been a priority when we assumed the Chairmanship of CICA at the 2010 Istanbul Summit.

Since then, we strived to contribute to the establishment of dialogue and cooperation based on a comprehensive concept of security, taking into consideration the five dimensions of CICA’s confidence building measures; namely, military-political, new challenges and threats, economic, environment and human. To this end,

• The Turkish Chairmanship took the initiative to convene an informal meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs once in every two years. Ministerial meetings are the central forum for consultations and in-depth examination of issues related to CICA activities. The two Informal Foreign Ministers Meetings were held in New York in 2011 and 2013 at the margins of the UN General Assembly.

• We held 16 Senior Officials Committee Meetings, nine of which were in Turkey, and organized 3 Business Forums, alongside numerous experts meetings and conferences, workshops and seminars during the past 4 years.

• We attached priority to the military-political dimension. In this context, adoption of the four fundamental Confidence Building Measures in January 2013 has been a promising start.

We are thankful to Kazakhstan, the coordinator countryin the military-political dimension, for its valuable contributions.

• We undertook the coordination of “new challenges and threats” dimension, with a focus on asymmetric risks such as terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, illegal migration, human trafficking, natural disasters and epidemics.

• We attached special importance to the economic dimension in the CICA. When we took over the Chairmanship, the impact of the global economic crisis was heavily felt. The need for reform in global economic and financial structures gained momentum ever since. It became clear that a coordinated and comprehensive approach is required in order to prevent the repetition of such crises.

    o Since SMEs (Small and Medium Size Enterprises) are among the most affected from global economic crisis, we have focused on the promotion of these companies which are the power houses of manufacturing in Asia and the backbone of Asian economies.

    o We organized annual Business Forums in Bangkok, Istanbul and Ekaterinburg which yielded concrete results of business to business interaction between the SMEs of Member States.

    o We now have an institutional mechanism in the economic dimension with the establishment of the CICA Business Council.

• In the environmental dimension, Mongolia and Turkey organized expert meetings on combatting desertification, a menace that afflicts the major part of the Asian geography.

• In the “human dimension”, we gave full support to the organization of "Conference on Youth Policies" by the coordinator country Kazakhstan in Astana in 2012. This processpioneered by Kazakhstan has been crowned with the establishment of the institutional framework for the CICA Youth Council.

CICA has become a forum comprised of 24 member and 9 observer states encompassing more than 90 % of Asia both in terms of geography and population.

I extend my sincere gratitude to the Member Statesthat have supported and assisted us to fulfill this responsibility.


Thirdly, what our vision should be for enhancing the capabilities of CICA?

In this regard, transformation of CICA is of vital importance.

A first step in this process will be the projected move of the Secretariat from Almaty to Astana this year. This will render the establishment of aPermanent Council possible, which will be composed of the resident Ambassadors in Astana.

New structure will enhance regular consultations between Member States, strengthening CICA in the face of evolving requirements of the regional security architecture.

I conclude my remarks with the conviction that the Shanghai Summit is a milestone of paramount importance for peace, stability and cooperation in the CICA region and beyond.

I am confident that China, having taken over the Chairmanship will pursue efforts to raise CICA cooperation and development a higher level in close cooperation with other Member States and observes.

Last but not least, I would like to congratulate and welcome Qatar and Bangladesh for having been upgraded from observer to membership status on the occasion of this Summit.

I am pleased to hand over the Chairmanship to the People's Republic of China in the person of His Excellency President Şi Jinping and wish them all the success during their Chairmanship.

Thank you.