The 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held on 12-13 October 2022 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hosted the summit held at the Independence Palace, in addition, the heads of state of Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Palestine, and Pakistan, as well as the vice presidents of countries such as China and Vietnam have joined. In addition, Turkmenistan was represented at the level of the foreign affairs presidency. In addition, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the participants via video.
The ever-widening supply chain gaps, sustainable development, ecology, and food safety issues were discussed at the summit. The CICA Summit has been recognized as one of the most important developments in foreign policy in Kazakhstan in particular and in Asia in general after the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking at the summit, the leaders expressed their support for Kazakhstan’s peaceful role, regional projects, the mission adopted by CICA, and regional cooperation projects.
The summit is quite important in terms of decisions that are taken, in addition to the participants. First of all, in the explanation of “Astana Declaration on Transformation of CICA”, it was decided to transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization operating regionally. Therefore, it is aimed to strengthen the institutional identity of CICA. On the other hand, the establishment has revealed that it aims to contribute to the dynamic, fair, comprehensive, and balanced economic growth, social and cultural development, and integration of its member states. In addition to all these, it was emphasized that efforts will be continued to seek solutions to common problems for a safe and prosperous region and to ensure that disputes are resolved peacefully by the UN Charter.
Undoubtedly, these decisions are going to serve Asia to be remembered as a center for peace and stability. CICA, which can be described as the Asian version of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), aims to transform Asia as a center for peace based on its values, instead of an understanding of peace solely based on the West.
The OSCE includes all of the Western states and only some of the Asian states. For this reason, it can be said that there is a need for the institutionalization of peace and stability in Asia. The biggest shortcoming of Asia is the absence of an Asia-centered structure where various problems can be solved. The transformation of CICA into a regional international organization is one of the developments that will fill this deficiency. In addition to this, the acceptance of Kuwait’s full membership and Turkmenistan’s being an observer member show that CICA aims to expand and make peace prevail throughout Asia.
It is obvious that CICA, which Kazakhstan pioneered, will transform into an international organization and make important contributions to peace in a period of increasing violence in the world, after nearly thirty years. In addition, although he has been the CICA President for two years, it has been agreed that this duty will continue until 2024. Undoubtedly, this development can be evaluated as a reflection of the trust that Asian states have in Kazakhstan and Mr. Tokayev.
Considering the other decisions taken at the summit; CICA Fund Regulations, Statement by CICA Leaders on Cooperation in the Security and Use of Information and Communication Technologies, and CICA Action Plan on the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy are seen to be accepted. It can be said that with these decisions, CICA intended to gain a more institutional character, that CICA took into account the concept of peace from many aspects, including cyber security, and determined a concept in line with international law.
In addition, bilateral meetings were held between the leaders during the summit. For example, Mr. Tokayev met with the Presidents of Türkiye, Pakistan, and Qatar as well as the Vice President of China. During the interviews, it was aimed to deepen the relations. For example, Kazakhstan and Pakistan; agreed to cooperate in the transport, transit, logistics, and energy sectors. Of course, not only the summit, but also these contacts showed that Kazakhstan is a center for diplomacy, and it strengthened the constructive-peaceful place in international politics.
Consequently, through CICA Summit held in Kazakhstan, Astana showed to the whole world, that it is a significant factor in transforming the peace in Asia into a constructive and institutional form. In the heart of Asia, Kazakhstan, once again prove its role of historical mission and peace-building role, by promoting CICA to transform into an international organization. Because, Kazakhstan, the founding country of CICA, is taking steps to make up for the deficiency in the sustainability of the peaceful environment in Asia. Moreover, this constructive role of Astana is also recognized by other states, as can be seen from the extension of the CICA Presidency.
 Aibarshyn Akhmetkali, “CICA Leaders Support Kazakhstan’s Extended Chairpersonship as Sixth Summit Concludes”, The Astana Times, https://astanatimes.com/2022/10/cica-leaders-support-kazakhstans-extended-chairpersonship-as-sixth-summit-concludes/, (Date of Accession: 14.10.2022).
 “Draft Astana Statement on CICA Transformation”, CICA, https://www.s-cica.org/docs/373585564634806cd9e5b6.pdf, (Date of Accession: 14.10.2022).
 “Adopted documents”, CICA, https://www.s-cica.org/index.php?view=page&t=sixth-cica-summit-adopted-documents, (Date of Accession: 14.10.2022).