09ASTANA265, KAZAKHSTAN: CICA SECRETARIAT OFFICIAL SAYS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA265 2009-02-13 09:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1446
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0265/01 0440941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130941Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4609
INFO RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1184
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0581
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0293
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1287
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0758
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0674

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000265 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  CICA SECRETARIAT OFFICIAL SAYS 
ORGANIZATION "LACKS MEAT" 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On January 26, PolOff met with Avinash 
Pandey, an Indian diplomat currently seconded to the 
secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and 
Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Almaty. 
Pandey discussed the agenda items at recent CICA meetings in 
Dushanbe and Tehran, as well as at the upcoming February 20 
CICA Senior Officials Meeting in New Delhi.  Pandey openly 
admitted to PolOff that CICA is still in its "infancy" and 
"lacks meat."  He also said that CICA faces funding problems 
because contributions from member states are voluntary.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
CICA:  A NAZARBAYEV INITIATIVE 
 
3. (SBU) The Conference on Interaction and 
Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) describes itself 
as "a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards 
promoting peace, security, and stability in Asia.... based on 
the recognition that there is close link between peace, 
security, and stability in Asia and in the rest of the 
world."  CICA is an initiative of Kazakhstani President 
Nursultan Nazarbayev, which he first proposed on October 5, 
1992, at the 47th United Nations General Assembly.  CICA 
member states adopted a CICA Declaration of Principles at a 
ministerial meeting in 1999.   The first CICA heads of state 
summit took place in Almaty in 2002.  Current CICA member 
states are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, India, 
Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, 
Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, 
Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, and Uzbekistan.  There are also 
several CICA observer states, including the United States and 
Japan.  The fact that CICA's membership includes states with 
quite divergent views hints at the difficulty the 
organization has in finding common ground on contentious 
issues. 
 
DUSHANBE EXPERTS MEETING FOCUSES ON TOURISM 
 
4.  (SBU) The focus of the most recent CICA experts meeting 
-- held in Dushanbe in September 2008 -- was cooperation in 
promoting tourism.  Avinash Pandey, an Indian diplomat 
currently seconded to the CICA Secretariat in Almaty told 
PolOff that this CICA initiative includes several goals: 
 
-- supporting the development of tourism facilities and 
infrastructure along the ancient Silk Road which passes from 
China to Europe; 
-- showcasing the potential of domestic tourism in other CICA 
member states; 
-- exchanging strategies and "best practices" regarding 
tourism infrastructure; and 
-- developing training in the tourism industry as a means to 
promote higher professional standards in tourism. 
 
COOPERATION IN DRUG TRAFFICKING AND TERRORISM 
 
5.  (SBU) CICA member states met in Tehran in August 2007 to 
discuss cooperation against international drug trafficking 
and "new threats and challenges."  Pandey opined that 
cooperation on drug trafficking and terrorism could be the 
strongest area of CICA cooperation, as all countries share 
the goal of countering these threats.  Pandey admitted, 
however, that while much has been discussed within CICA on 
these issues, little progress has thus far been made in 
turning talk into action.  However, a concept paper was 
adopted at the Tehran meeting on counter-narcotics 
cooperation, and an action plan based on it is expected in 
the near future. 
 
NEW DELHI MEETING TO INCLUDE OSCE FOCUS 
 
6.  (SBU) During the upcoming CICA Senior Officials meeting 
in New Delhi on February 20, member states expect to discuss 
procedural issues within the organization, 
confidence-building measures, and possible future cooperation 
 
ASTANA 00000265  002 OF 002 
 
 
between CICA and OSCE.  (NOTE:  With Kazakhstan set to become 
OSCE chairman-in-office for 2010, the country is seeking to 
find linkages between the OSCE and its other international 
initiatives.  END NOTE.)  Pandey explained that this 
cooperation with the OSCE will likely initially take form as 
a joint CICA-OSCE forum on security in Eurasia.  Based on the 
outcome of the forum, CICA member states will determine if 
there are further opportunities for cooperation. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN MAKES UP FUNDING SHORTFALLS 
 
7.  (SBU) Pandey explained that funding the CICA 
secretariat's annual budget of approximately $1 million 
continues to be a problem, because the current CICA charter 
only calls for "voluntary" contributions from member states. 
According to Pandey, the result is that every year, the 
secretariat faces a 90% budget shortfall.  In the end, the 
Kazakhstani government al
ways steps in to make up the 
difference.  Pandey maintained that member countries would 
need to change the organization's financing mechanism if 
"CICA is to have relevance." 
 
8.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Pandey openly admitted that CICA, in its 
current form, "is still in its infancy" and "lacks meat."  To 
some extent, member states are willing to participate in the 
organization to remain in the good graces of President 
Nazarbayev, who takes CICA quite seriously.  For his part, 
Nazarbayev is seeking to push CICA beyond its Kazakhstani 
origins.  Kazakhstan has held the CICA presidency since the 
organization's inception.  At the CICA ministerial in Almaty 
in August 2008, Nazarbayev proposed that Turkey take over the 
presidency when Kazakhstan's latest term expires in 2010. 
END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

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