Friday, June 17, 2016

10 Years under the Flag of CICA

Gong Jianwe,

Image from, under the headline: Xi addresses CICA foreign ministers' meeting

Over the last few years, international relations have been going through a difficult period and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which unites 26 countries, found itself at the crossroads of key global trends, largely determining the future development vector in not only Asia but also in the world. ...
The Chinese chairmanship’s achievement within the CICA was the launch of the Youth Council (YC), after the Chinese Youth Federation meeting in Beijing in August 2015. Representatives of 24 member states of the CICA and the CICA Secretariat took part in the preparation for the establishment of the council.
The YC is faced with formidable tasks. It is not only for conducting festive events, festivals and gatherings, but also for the research and development of national youth policies based on realities. As I noted in 2014, youth cooperation is not just a part of public diplomacy and an important component of bilateral relations, it is a real and recognised resource development.
At the first stage of work, YC is planning to establish an exchange of information between national youth organisations and cooperation in the field of employment of young professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as development of youth volunteering. In July, Bishkek will host the second conference of the CICA Youth Council, where, we hope, certain decisions will be made. Among others, the main focus will be on preventing the radicalisation of young people, which is now one of the most important issues in the world. We are considering the possibility of the organisation of the arts festival for students of the CICA member states to promote friendly communication among our youth.
Over the years of CICA’s existence, the need for exploiting the potential of the so-called “second track” has been repeatedly discussed. The term “second track” implies the involvement of think tanks, academic circles and independent experts. In May 2015, China, as the chairman, held the first conference of the non-governmental forum with the aim of establishing a network of civil dialogue among the CICA member states, the promotion of the concept of security and the increasing influence of the forum and the development of regional safety management. The conference, Asia in the Next Decade – Security and Development, included six roundtables on topical issues such as non-traditional security, financial security, the construction of the one belt, one road programme, energy security, a scientific development and production centre and also the media’s role in Asian security. The forum was attended by the former political leaders and almost 400 leading experts, scholars, representatives of the media elite and public organisations from 37 member states and observers of the CICA, as well as a number of countries from outside the region.
Additionally, the Shanghai Institute of International Studies organised five expert forums in March and September 2014, May and December 2015 and April 2016. Well-known experts and scholars from many Asian countries discussed a wide range of issues of regional security and development, the strengthening of dialogue and cooperation and the functions and development of the CICA.
The value of such events is not in the level and number of participants, but in the need of the widespread activation of the expert community and the exchange of views in the understanding of the processes leading to global problems. ...
In the upcoming period, China plans to invite member states and CICA observers to take part in the first cultural exhibition of the Silk Road, which will take place in September 2016, the third international art festival of the Silk Road countries, film festival and so forth to promote the relationship and cooperation between the human dimension of the CICA member states. ...

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