Declaration of the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia
Promoting Peace, Security, Stability and Sustainable Development in Asia Through Dialogue
Beijing, 28 April 2016
  1. We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), met in Beijing on 27-28 April 2016 for the Fifth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs to exchange views on major regional and international issues.
  2. We recognise that Asia and the world are undergoing complex and profound changes and reaffirm our commitment to the UN Charter and the universally recognised norms and principles of international law, in particular those enshrined in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations Between the CICA Member States and the Almaty Act.
  3. We confirm that no state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. Organisation and support of externally-based coups, as form of interference in the internal affairs of states, poses a threat to the sovereignty and political independence of states; and is contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, violates the UN Charter, and also leads to the creation of situations which can threaten international peace and security.
  4. We reaffirm that in a globalised world security has become an all-encompassing concept and countries in the region are sharing common interests in building a sustainable environment of peace and security. We should seek common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; respect each other’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and pursue further development and progress based on the common understanding that has been reached so far, and build a security environment that fulfills the expectation of the Member States based on commitment to mutual trust, good neighbourliness and cooperation among Member States.
  5. Taking into account different positions on the Middle East peace process, we remain concerned and call upon all parties concerned to implement all the relevant UN resolutions to achieve comprehensive, lasting and just peace and security and stability in the region by resuming negotiations; to establish the Palestine State, based on the relevant UN resolutions and on internationally recognised legal basis on this issue with the aim of achieving the two-state solution of two states living in peace and security with each other, while fully preserving the peace, security, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all other states in the region. We call upon the international community, including the Quartet, to continue the efforts to reactivate the bilateral negotiations in accordance with the agreed terms of reference to implement the solution based on two states for two peoples. We call upon both parties to respect the concluding mutual agreements and engage in taking measures which restore confidence and pave way towards that end.
  6. As the Syrian crisis heads into its sixth year, almost half of the country’s population, close to 12 million men, women and children have been displaced, and close to 5 million Syrians have sought shelter in the neighbouring countries in the region; most prominently Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The humanitarian tragedy is enormous and requires a coordinated and comprehensive response. We call upon the international community to consider possibility of supporting asylum seekers and refugees in accordance with relevant international law, in particular the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto, where applicable, and national legislations.
  7. We welcome the cessation of hostilities in Syria declared on 27 February 2016 to which we urge all relevant parties to maintain their commitment. We reaffirm our support to a political solution in Syria on the basis of the Geneva Communique 2012, decisions taken in Vienna format and the UNSC Resolutions 2254 and 2268 in order to restore peace and stability in Syria.
  8. We reaffirm the importance of promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The process of promoting and protecting human rights should be conducted in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and international law. We further reaffirm that all human rights are universal, interdependent, interrelated and indivisible. International community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is duty of states, regardless of political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  9. We reaffirm our commitment to uphold and defend the principles of the UN Charter and international law as well as the means envisaged in UN Charter for peaceful settlement of disputes. The parties to any dispute will immediately establish a contact and negotiate to prevent the outbreak of a conflict and to settle the dispute in accordance with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter as well as in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations Between CICA Member States and international law. The Member States parties to a dispute as well as the other Member States shall refrain from any actions, which might aggravate the situation.
  10. We express deep concern on the security challenge in Asia and beyond caused by the growing terrorist threat and actions of terrorist organisations, and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorist acts not only pose serious challenge to countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also constitute threat to regional and international peace, security and stability.
  11. We are also concerned by risks of proliferation of nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, especially when they could fall into the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors.
  12. We support the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Weapons of Mass Destruction, based on arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned.
  13. We support the inalienable right of all states to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including power generation, with due respect to their non-proliferation obligations and their commitments emanating from agreements to which they are parties; in particular the IAEA Safeguards Agreements.
  14. We resolve to undertake all necessary measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including but not limited to prolonged unresolved conflicts, lack of the rule of law and violations of human rights, discrimination on ethnic, national or religious basis, external interference in states’ affairs, socio-economic marginalization, while recognising that none of these conditions can excuse or justify acts of terrorism.
  15. We stress that the menace of terrorism has been magnified by its close links with drug trafficking, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and their transfers in any form to terrorist groups, racist ideologies, separatism, all forms of extremism which present basic sources of financing and providing manpower for terrorist activities.
  16. We reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. We undertake to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation and fight resolutely, on the basis of international law including the UN Charter, against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, namely suppressing the provision of funds, support, shelter, traveling, training and equipment to terrorists. We also agree to put in place specific measures and take necessary actions to deny terrorists’ access to material resources, to dismantle their sanctuaries and training facilities and to curtail their ability to recruit and train terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters.
  17. We believe that direct or indirect threat or use of force in violation of the UN Charter and international law against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the states; denial of the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under foreign occupation (a right which has to be exercised in accordance with the UN Charter and international law); interference in the internal affairs of states and offensive strategic doctrines pose threats to regional and international peace.
  18. We reaffirm the central role of the UN in the global fight against terrorism, and appreciate the individual and collective efforts undertaken by CICA members in preventing and countering terrorism. In this regard, we call upon all States and the UN to accelerate work on the finalisation and adoption through consensus of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. We take note of the proposals on global counter-terrorism coalition (network) under the auspices of the United Nations to consolidate international efforts in combating terrorism. We underscore that double standards should be avoided and a holistic approach taken to address the conditions conducive to spread of terrorism. We share the view that the adoption of the CICA action plan to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy will provide further impetus to strengthen the counter-terrorism cooperation among CICA Member States and call on all parties to work for its common and efficient implementation.
  19. We emphasise that the international community should jointly combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and support full implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We also emphasise the need to jointly curb the spread of terrorist and extremist ideologies; and promote interreligious and interethnic tolerance, dialogue and understanding. In this context we welcome the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution entitled: “A World against Violence and Violent extremism” (A/RES/70/109) on 10 December 2015, initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and call for the full implementation of this Resolution.
  20. We emphasise the importance of preventing and suppressing the financing of terrorist acts and refraining from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.
  21. We express our concerns upon the increased use, by terrorists organisations and their supporters, of new information and communications technologies, in particular the internet, social networks and broadcast channels, to facilitate terrorist acts, as well as their use to incite, recruit, fund or plan terrorist acts.
  22. We express grave concern over the growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, as described in UN Security Council Resolution 2178, and recognise that this may pose a serious threat to their countries of origin, transit and the countries to which they travel, as well as countries neighbouring zones of armed conflict. We stress the importance of enhancing international cooperation to curb this phenomenon.
  23. We express concerns over the strengthened financial capacity of terrorist organisations through a variety of activities connected to transnational organised crime, such as kidnap-for-ransom, illicit drug trafficking and human trafficking, selling of antiquities, illegal exploitation and selling of natural resources and money-laundering.
  24. We highlight the importance of exposing and confronting the ideological underpinnings of terrorism and violent extremism. We recognise the role of the media and effective communication strategies, which includes social media and use of ICT, as crucial for the success of counter-narrative and counter terrorism efforts, among other things.
  25. We emphasise that separatism and violent extremism that lead to terrorism are threats to state sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, security and stability. We will not support any such separatist movements and entities on the territory of another Member State, nor render them any aid or assistance. We also reiterate our resolve that our territories will not be used by any such separatist movements and entities.
  26. We also reaffirm our commitment to enhance cooperation to combat transnational challenges of mutual concern including, among others, organised crime, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and cybercrime.
  27. We, in line with the UNGA Resolution on Culture of Peace proposed by Bangladesh, emphasise that all cultures, civilizations and religions contribute to the enrichment of humankind and reaffirm the importance of promotion of inter-cultural, inter-religious and inter-civilizational dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace. In this regard, we welcome the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which aims at fostering a culture of tolerance and mutual respect, as opposed to the ideology of hatred and extremism.
  28. We believe that promotion of economic growth and prosperity and elimination of poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy and respect for human rights as well as promotion of access to justice are critical to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and extremism including but not limited to prolonged unresolved conflicts. We stress the need to further conduct regional and sub-regional dialogue, strengthen multilateral cooperation and adopt appropriate measures to promote sustainable development, economic cooperation and the well-being of our people.
  29. We call upon all parties to promote culture of peace, security, stability and sustainable development in Asia to fulfill common goals of Member States by strengthening cross-culture dialogue, formulating and implementing CBMs, etc.
  30. We acknowledge the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and E3/EU+3. We hope that all relevant parties will fully implement JCPOA and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in good faith, which will contribute to enhancing mutual trust among regional countries.
  31. We condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear test by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 6 January 2016 and its multiple launches that used ballistic missile technology on 7 February, 15 April and 23 April 2016 in violation and flagrant disregard of the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions. We welcome and support the UN Security Council Resolution 2270 adopted on 2 March 2016, which is the manifestation of the international community’s firm resolve that DPRK shall not conduct any further nuclear tests and launches that use ballistic missile technology. We reaffirm that we will implement the resolution thoroughly and fully and will further strengthen international cooperation so that DPRK must abandon its nuclear program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner according to relevant UN Security Council resolutions and 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. We support 19 September 2005 Joint Statement and the efforts to create conditions and environment for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks through meaningful dialogue.
  32. We warmly welcome the establishment on 31 December 2015 of the ASEAN Community comprising of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, aiming at building a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible community. We welcome ASEAN’s ongoing efforts to promote regional cooperation and developing regional arrangements to help enhance regional peace and security, while deepening their engagement with external parties and playing a proactive role in the global community of nations. The successful building of the ASEAN Political-Security Community will contribute to enhance mutual trust and confidence, consolidate peace, security and stability in the region. In this connection, we encourage the establishment of relations between Secretariats of CICA and ASEAN that would contribute to further consolidation of the efforts to strengthen regional security and sustainable development in Asia.
  33. We reiterate our shared desire to carry forward the cooperation and mutual assistance, stay committed to respecting religious and cultural diversity throughout the region and conducting inter-cultural and inter-civilizational dialogue and cooperation at national, regional and international levels. Within the framework of international law, all parties have equal rights and duties.
  34. We support various multilateral and national initiatives on dialogue among civilizations that are important instruments to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, eradicate intolerance and promote peaceful co-existence among people of different religions or cultures.
  35. We welcome holding of the Seventh Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and its outcomes with the theme “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal” in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-27 April 2016, as well as holding of the Forum “Religions for peace” under the auspices of the United Nations in New York on 6 May 2016.
  36. We highly appreciate efforts made by the CICA Chairmanship, Coordinators and Co-coordinators on implementation of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) as well as the Secretariat in promoting cooperation on various dimensions of CBMs. We emphasise that all parties will advance the CICA process by implementing CBMs in military-political dimension, fight against new challenges and threats, economic, environmental and human dimensions on voluntary basis. We welcome the approval of Action Plans of CICA for implementation of Confidence Building Measures in military-political and economic dimensions as well as in combating drugs.
  37. We recognise that CICA is an important conference for exploring and enhancing confidence building measures through continuous dialogue and interaction, comprehensive exchange of view and close cooperation. In more than twenty years since its establishment, the CICA process has played an important role and will continue to play equally important role in promoting interaction among Member States, enhancing dialogue among civilizations, establishing and implementing Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and strengthening the CICA process, thus making contribution to peace, security, stability and sustainable development in Asia.
  38. We strongly believe that the adoption of the Action Plan for Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the area of development of Small and Medium Enterprises for the period 2016-2018 which formulates series of activities on sharing, promoting and enhancing the cooperation of SMEs will set up a new momentum for economic growth in the CICA Member States.
  39. We commend “The Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, addressing new 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the “Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” which were adopted by world leaders. We recognize that mankind is facing immense challenges to sustainable development, and reaffirmed that collective measures and reinvigorated global partnership is needed to help translate this global agenda into a sustainable action plan to address these challenges. We are open to explore approaches to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
  40. We underline the need for full implementation of CBMs in Political-Military dimension, fight against new challenges and threats, economic dimension, human dimension and environmental dimension for further promoting peace, security, stability and sustainable development.
  41. We recognise that we encounter the dire realities of new security threats and challenges and that it is foremost required, for not only the countries in the region but also the international community as a whole, to pay the utmost attention and make coordinated efforts to address such realities. In this regard, we take note of the need to step up our efforts to implement CBMs in order to increase the level of cooperation among the CICA Member States. We take note of the concept on the establishment, through consensus, of an international organization on the basis of CICA proposed by Kazakhstan.
  42. We welcome the Republic of Belarus as an observer to CICA, and note that Member States should work in concert and advance partnership with other regions and international organisations and forums and strengthen cooperation with other organisations and forums in Asia so as to make further efforts to promote peace, security, stability and sustainable development in Asia and the world at large.
  43. We highly commend the work carried out by the People’s Republic of China since it assumed CICA Chairmanship in May 2014. We recognise the important role the People’s Republic of China has played advancing the CICA process, promoting CICA institution building, and adopting and implementing CBMs. We welcome the Chairmanship’s initiative to convene the CICA Non-Governmental Forum. We commend the People’s Republic of China’s contribution to the founding of the CICA Youth Council and the CICA Business Council and express our desire to further enhance activities of the CICA Youth Council and the CICA Business Council as efficient mechanisms of implementing CICA CBMs in respective areas and thus promoting better understanding, cooperation and mutual trust among Member States.
  44. We welcome continuation of the Chinese Chairmanship until 2018, and believe this is conducive to deepening the work of CICA on a more sustainable basis.
  45. We note that CICA Secretariat will observe 10th anniversary of its establishment on 17 June 2016. We welcome relocation of the Secretariat to its new headquarter in Astana and appreciate the work carried out by the Secretariat for the development of CICA and support strengthening of the Secretariat. We urge all CICA Member States to make voluntary financial contributions to the budget of the Secretariat on a regular basis.
  46. We note with satisfaction that the Statute of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia will come into force on 13 May 2016. We request those Member States, which have not yet signed or ratified the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its Personnel and Representative of Members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, to do so as soon as possible.
  47. We express thanks to the People’s Republic of China for hosting this meeting and agree to hold the Sixth Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs in 2020. We welcome the People’s Republic of China to hold the Fifth CICA Summit in 2018 in coordination with the incoming Chairmanship.