To be inaugurated by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazabayev on Monday, Aug 25 morning and attended by the Foreign Ministers or Deputy Foreign Ministers of 18 countries, the conference is expected to come up with the next steps in a collaborative multilateral approach to all issues affecting Asia, including numerous traditional security challenges that threaten not only economic gain, but also the peace and stability of this diverse region.
Besides, a number of non-traditional security challenges, commonly referred to as 'New Threats and Challenges' such as terrorism, trans-national crime, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, human trafficking, drugs and arms trade are also likely to be addressed.
Having been a victim of recent terror strikes in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, India may emphasize that in order to accomplish the ultimate goal of making Asia a region of peace and security, it would be necessary to make CICA more pro-active in seeking cooperation with other Asian regional and sub-regional organizations and forums.
CICA is one of the youngest and most diverse of regional groupings. Conceived 16 years ago, it had its first Summit meeting on June 4, 2002. At the second Summit meeting on June 17, 2006, the CICA Secretariat was created and was charged with the responsibility of implementing decisions taken jointly by the 18 member states.
It was then also decided to carry forward the CICA process in dealing with non-traditional security challenges, promoting trade, ensuring environmental protection, energy security, education and tourism.
The daylong conference is expected to assess the progress made on the five dimensions for the realization of CICA CBMs i.e. (1) Military-Political (2) Fight against new challenges and threats (3) Economic (4) Environmental and (5) Humanitarian.
At the last Summit meeting, India was among eight member states (the others being Azerbaijan, Iran,, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkey) to volunteer to act as coordinating and co-coordinating countries to have the CICA CBMS realized as soon as possible. Expert committees of some of the above eight countries have in the last year come up concept papers and action plans for issues like drug trafficking, new threats and challenges, both which are likely to be adopted at the Third Summit meeting.
A significant aspect of the meeting will be the formal admission of two new CICA members - the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, taking the total membership to twenty.
Almaty will also be playing host to the first conference on security and cooperation in Central Asia-Caspian region, under the aegis of the Institute of World Economy and Politics and the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. India will be represented at this forum by Ambassador P.S. Sahai, Principal Advisor, Centre for Caucasian and Central Asian Study, Chandigarh.
It is expected that this forum will make an analysis of the global and Asian Security system, and seek ways to broaden interaction and cooperation in all regional and bilateral spheres. By Ashok Dixit