BEIJING, May 21 -- The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, or CICA is one of the most influential multilateral security forums in Asia.
CICA was first proposed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992, with the aim of promoting peace, security and stability cooperation in the region.
The forum now has 26 member states and 11 observer states and organizations. Qatar and Bangladesh became the 25th and 26th states to join as members on Tuesday. China will chair the CICA from 2014 to 2016.
It sees CICA as an important multilateral platform to discuss security issues in Asia, and believes that the forum has "enormous development potential".
The CICA Summit is convened every four years in order to conduct consultations, review progress and set priorities for CICA activities.
The first summit in 2002 focused on issues of regional security and cooperation. Member states adopted The Almaty Act and the CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations.
In the declaration issued at the end of the second summit, the leaders of member states called for increased cooperation among Asian nations in dealing with non-traditional threats and challenges.
At the 3rd CICA Summit in Istanbul in 2010, members adopted a joint declaration too, which reflected CICA’s views on important issues including, terrorism, disarmament, illicit drugs, the global financial crisis and the environment.
Though Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and a major driving force for global economic growth, it still faces many difficulties and challenges.
Rampant terrorism, separatist and extremist forces, drug trafficking and transnational crimes, as well as maritime, environmental, energy and other non-traditional security challenges are common. CICA is meant to be the platform where members come together to discuss cooperated solutions to these problems.