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Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit

May 21, 2014, Shanghai

Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit.

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia was established in 1992 as a pan-Asian dialogue forum for discussing key regional issues and developing cooperation between the participating countries.

CICA has 24 members. Another nine countries and four international organisations hold observer status. CICA holds a summit once every four years. 

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Speech at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Heads of state and government, heads of delegations, representatives of international organisations,

I want to start by thanking the Turkish Presidency for its effective work to develop practical cooperation within the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia framework.

As we know, President of Turkey [Abdullah] Gul was unable to attend this summit due to the tragedy at the mine in Soma. I once again express my sincere condolences to the Turkish Government and the entire Turkish nation.

We are grateful to President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping for the summit’s excellent organisation and for the warmth and hospitality we have received.

I remind you that, as was already mentioned today, it was President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev who put forward the idea of establishing CICA in the early 1990s. He has put much effort into carrying out this idea and we see that it does have practical applications.

Russia is consistent in supporting the creation in Asia and in the broader geopolitical context of the Asia-Pacific region a system of international relations that meets today’s demands.

”Russia is consistent in supporting the creation in Asia-Pacific region a system of international relations that meets today’s demands. This system should guarantee opportunities for developing multilateral trade, economic cooperation and investment“.

This system should guarantee opportunities for developing multilateral trade, economic cooperation and investment, effectively address today’s security challenges, prevent the emergence of new threats, and serve the goal of building an integrated economic and political space. The region needs a new security architecture that guarantees equal interaction and a genuine balance of power and harmony of interests.

It is our firm conviction that this can only be based on the concept of indivisible security. A future system of genuine and equal security in Asia should be based on a balance of bilateral mechanisms and multilateral diplomacy that excludes any closed or restricted systems and blocs. Only by taking this approach can we avoid the emergence of new political and ideological dividing lines in the region.

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia is a format for effective work on confidence building in the military, political, economic, environmental and humanitarian fields, and also in countering new threats and challenges. Through this forum we work together to resolve the biggest problems in the Asian region, which in places still has serious issues and contradictions to address.

Risks such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, religious extremism, trans-border organised crime and piracy, which pose threats to the entire region, are still as strong as ever.

The Syrian conflict and the Middle East peace process continue to play a destabilising role. We all realise that only targeted, collective efforts will effectively address these challenges.

It is important that the CICA has now moved to taking practical steps. I am referring in particular to expanding cooperation with various international organisations.

A memorandum on mutual understanding between the secretariats of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and our Conference is being signed on the sidelines of this summit. Establishing contacts between our forum and the CSTO – the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, could become the next step.

I would like to note that in September 2014, Russia takes over the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Treaty Organisation. A SCO summit will be held in Ufa in summer 2015. We are determined to continue actively supporting efforts to broaden ties between the SCO and the Conference.

An important area for joint work within the framework of the Conference is intensifying trade and investment cooperation. We have all the prerequisites. Our national economies are developing dynamically and we have qualified personnel; this means serious potential for industrial cooperation.

The organisation of business forums has become a good tradition. The latest such event was held successfully in July 2013 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with 24 nations from the region participating. Following Russia’s suggestion, a Business Council was recently created within the Conference. It is called upon to actively promote cooperation, including with small and medium-sized businesses. We feel it would be expedient for it to start its work by discussing topics pertaining to the involvement of small businesses in the implementation of investment projects.

We support further expansion of humanitarian contacts – first and foremost, youth exchanges. We supported the Kazakh initiative on creating a Youth Council within the framework of the Conference. In developing this work, we propose holding a joint meeting of youth councils of the Conference and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think that the summit Declaration we are adopting will give a new boost to multilateral partnership in the interests of stability and prosperity throughout Asia.

I am sure that under the proactive Chinese Presidency in 2014–2016, CICA will continue to generate and successfully implement constructive ideas for bolstering confidence and interaction in Asia. 

Thank you for your attention.

May 21, 2014, Shanghai