The idea of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was first proposed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on October 5,1992, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. CICA formally started its activities in March, 1993.
There are 26 member states in CICA, including China, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Iraq, Bahrain, Cambodia, Qatar and Bangladesh, and 11 observers (including sovereign states and international organizations) -- Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, Ukraine, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the United Nations, the OSCE, the League of Arab States and Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA).
CICA is a forum for dialogues and consultations on regional security issues in Asia, with the main objective and purpose of enhancing cooperation through multilateral confidence-building measures towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
CICA follows the principle of consensus. It has passed the following basic documents: 1. the Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between CICA Member States by the Ministers (1999), which stipulates that CICA member states shall respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, not interfere in each other's internal affairs, and refrain from the threat or use of force; 2. the Almaty Act (2002), which sets out the objectives, purposes, direction of cooperation and organizational structure of CICA; 3. The CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures (2004), which stipulates that member states will fight against new challenges and threats in economic, environmental and people-to-people and cultural dimensions and initiate and implement confidence-building measures in the military-political dimension, and that the confidence-building measures shall proceed on a gradual and voluntary basis and serve only as suggestions. The third CICA Summit adopted a declaration entitled "Constructing cooperative approach to interaction and security in Asia" and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, its Personnel and Representatives of Members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. Azerbaijan, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Turkey have voluntarily served as coordinators or co-coordinators for the implementation of confidence-building measures in specific fields
CICA has established such mechanisms as the heads of state and government meeting (summit), meeting of ministers of foreign affairs, the senior officials committee (SOC) and the special working group (SWG).
Meeting of CICA foreign ministers convenes every four years after an interval of two years from the CICA summit meetings which are also held every four years. The member state hosting the summit or the Meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs holds be the CICA presidency Kazakhstan held the CICA presidency before June 2010. Turkey assumed CICA presidency in 2010 at the third summit, initially for the period 2010-12. The tenure of the Turkish presidency has been extended until 2014. China took over the CICA Presidency at the Fourth CICA Summit in Shanghai in 2014.
Established in June 2006, the Secretariat of CICA is the permanent administrative body of the Conference, which is located in Almaty. The current executive director is Ambassador Gong Jianwei. India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey have stationed full-time staff to the Secretariat. The expenditure of the Secretariat is met from budgetary allocation by the Kazakhstan government and voluntary contributions made by the member states.