The 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held in Astana yesterday under the chairmanship of Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Media reports say the key outcome of the summit was the adoption of the Astana Declaration, which laid the foundation for a full-scale transformation of the CICA from a platform into a powerful international organization with a powerful voice and strength in addressing issues of regional stability and security. 

The CICA summit in Kazakhstan was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Iran Ibrahim Raisi, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif, President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Vice President of China Wang Qishan, Vice President of Vietnam Vo Thi Anh Xuan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, as well as observer countries.

Speaking at the summit, Tokayev, in particular, noted that Asia has become a recognized world economic leader in nominal GDP and purchasing power parity. “The region has significant human and natural resources.  Asia is home to 21 of the 30 largest cities in the world.  Only US$1 trillion of the estimated US$30 trillion growth in middle-class consumption by 2030 is expected to fall on Western economies.  However, the future of Asia depends on our collective readiness to enhance the dialogue between cultures, traditions and worldviews.  I am sure that the steps taken to develop the CICA correspond to this goal,” Kazakh leader noted. 

According to him, the transformation of the CICA into a “full-fledged international organization” has become one of the priorities of Kazakhstan in the year of its chairmanship.   

Following the results of the summit in Astana, the CICA Foundation was established, which will select projects and collect voluntary funds for their implementation. The number of observers and partners has grown. Last year Turkmenistan joined the CICA as an observer, and this year Kuwait has been granted membership.  Decisions were made to establish cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Astana Statement – outlines the following actions for the further transformation of this platform into an organization:


-           The parties launch the structured, inclusive and transparent negotiations process of gradual, incremental and consensus-based transformation of CICA into a full-fledged regional international organization.

-           The process of transforming CICA will pursue the following major goals: defining the overarching areas of our future cooperation and strengthening the organizational and institutional base of our interaction.

-           As the first step of the transformation process, it was decided that the Meeting of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Meeting) shall henceforth be referred to, respectively, as the Council of Heads of State or Government (Summit) and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Ministerial Council);

-           The Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat has been renamed as Secretary General;

-           Moreover, the member-countries will make proposals in 2023 on a road map of necessary measures in the transformation process.


The theme of the 6th CICA summit was "Role of Ombudsman and National Institutions for Human Rights in Business and Human Rights.”

The previous 5th CICA summit took place in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on June 15, 2019 and ended with adoption of a declaration. The theme of the 5th CICA summit was “Common Vision for a Safe and More Prosperous CICA Region.”

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.  It was initiated by the then Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992.  In 1996, seventeen states participated in the conference and drafted the basic document.  The first meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held on 14 September 1999 with participation of 15 Member States. The Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between CICA Member States was adopted at that meeting.  The first CICA summit was held in 2002.

CICA member states now include Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Norway, North Korea, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.