Asia should create its own OSCE: Nazarbayev
May 21. Tengrinews
Reporting by Dmitriy Khegai, writing by Dinara Urazova
Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev has addressed the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Tengrinews correspondent reports from Shanghai.
The CICA initiative was brought forward by Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev in October 1992. Gradually, the organization gained momentum and achieved an observer status in the UN General Assembly.
Now, in May 2014, the Kazakhstani president addressed the delegates on the importance of the organization in the increasingly changing world. The president noted that it was time to create an effective and efficient Organization for Security and Development in Asia (OSDA) on the basis of the existing CICA. “It [the organization] should make a healthy competition to OSCE. The West – in isolation from the East, without mutual cooperation and understanding, and exclusive of eastern traditions and values – cannot develop sustainably or claim a monopoly on the search for the truth. The global crisis that started six years ago has not yet subsided. It is growing, covering one sphere after another: financial, economic, socio-political, and even cultural and spiritual. This is true for all the parties… This is a crisis of the civilization and it is system-wide. Therefore, we, the countries of Asia, must engage in the peaceful development of the continent ourselves. And OSDA can be an important tool in this process,” Nazarbayev said.
Nazarbayev praised China’s President Xi Jinping’s idea to create the infrastructure fund of the Silk Road. The future plans are to create the largest transportation system in the world that would connect Asian and European countries. Nazarbayev supported the idea of revival of the Great Silk Road as a historical basis for cooperation among Asian countries.
Cooperation in economic development between the Asian countries was mentioned as well. For example, Nazarbayev cited food security as one of the most pressing issues for the region as a whole. Developing specific mechanisms through the CICA to ensure stable food production and arrange an affordable and reliable transportation of agricultural goods were his examples of the comprehensive efforts to be taken by all the states in the region to overcome the problem.
Nazarbayev mentioned that many countries addressing poverty, unemployment, and lack of food depend on the development of peaceful nuclear energy. This process would be upheld by placing the International Bank for low-enriched uranium under IAEA auspices on the territory of Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev reminded that Asia was the area with the highest concentration of nuclear weapons. However, the process of nuclear non-proliferation was undermined by lack of trust and openness between the countries. “This is why I offered to develop and adopt the Universal Declaration of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Nazarbayev said.
Regional security was also addressed by Nazarbayev. The situation in Afghanistan is of particular importance and the upcoming elections in this country are highly welcome, he said. Nazarbayev also stressed the importance of resolving the crises in Syria, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as that of peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine. “Kazakhstan welcomes the continuation of dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program, which plays a crucial role in ensuring regional security. Serious concern is caused by DPRK’s plans to conduct nuclear tests. This could have serious implications for peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
Kazakhstan’s position in the global context was also elaborated. The country can become a significant player in the global energy market, since it is expected that the volume of energy imports to Asian countries will reach 80 percent of the world’s total by 2020.
Development of alternative energy sources, such as environmentally friendly technologies, was highlighted by the president. He notably mentioned that the 2017 EXPO exhibition in Astana chose “Future Energy” as its topic for a reason.
The soon to enter into force Eurasian Union was also mentioned. Nazarbayev said that this integrative project will serve “to strengthen economic and trade ties between Asia and Europe”.
Nazarbayev addressed representatives of more than 40 countries and international organizations, who attended the Summit in Shanghai. Turkey is the acting chairman of the CICA. However, this position will soon be assumed by China.
The main issues on the agenda of the Summit are strengthening of cooperation between Asian countries and ensuring peace and stability in the region.