Distinguished Foreign Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to address this Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) here in New York.
Let me first express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for its outstanding efforts and leadership in chairing CICA over the past two years. I would also like to congratulate Tajikistan on the successful convening of the 5th CICA Summit in Dushanbe in June We also warmly welcome the Republic of Kazakhstan’s intention to assume the chairmanship of this forum for the period 2020 to 2022.
Regional cooperation is key for economic development, peace and prosperity in our region. Our success in this area depends exclusively on our continued collective efforts to a comprehensive understanding between our nations.
Since its establishment, CICA has made great efforts and achievements in building trust among its Member States. Nevertheless, there is much more potential for this forum to contribute further in the areas of peace, security and prosperity in the region and beyond. Afghanistan, as a Member State, supports such efforts and will continue to accompany all steps taken towards the strengthening of this platform.
The existing global threats require close collaboration and cooperation amongst nations across the world. The security threats posed by international terrorist activities are one of the main challenges of our region, with negative impacts on regional development and economic cooperation. Addressing these challenges requires greater and more sincere efforts by all of us.
A particularly important and urgent area where we need to work more effectively is counter-terrorism. We must deny safe havens to terrorists and dismantle and target their operational capabilities. In this regard, it is essential to strengthening regional and international cooperation, since no single state can tackle the threat of transnational terrorism alone, especially with the rise of regional terrorist groups such as ISIS/Daesh.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is an important initiative towards strengthening regional cooperation. The process has been an addition to this forum - providing further grounds in building regional trust and bringing synergy to the region. Afghanistan has been placed at the heart of this process and we have been active in highlighting CICA as one of the most important regional platforms to make the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process a success. Let me note that one of the three mandates of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is to cooperate and to complement the work and efforts of other regional processes and organizations such this one. In doing so, we will continue to work closely with CICA in the implementation of the Confidence Building Measures set by Heart of Asia, and in political consultations on the framework of that Process
In closing, Mr. Chairman, please allow me to once again reiterate Afghanistan’s full support and commitment to this Conference, its guiding principles and the need to achieving its important goals and objective of securing a peaceful and stable Asia for all its inhabitants.