20 June 2006

Secretary-General, in Message to Asian Confidence-Building Summit, Lauds Its Potential to Provide Effective Responses to Challenges of Today

NEW YORK, 19 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the Summit Meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in Almaty on 17 June, as delivered by Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs:

I am pleased to send greetings to the Second Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, which has emerged as an important institution for strengthening cooperation, peace and friendship on the Asian continent.

This Summit draws upon a region of tremendous diversity, with human and natural resources that have much to offer each other and the world.  Many member States are establishing new commercial ties, and creating fresh possibilities for growth and development.  Still, others are searching for opportunities to realize their full potential.  Such differences notwithstanding, CICA plays a helpful role in advancing fruitful interaction and exchange, and in promoting conditions for stable economic growth.  The United Nations, for its part, welcomes the deepening of ties between newly established CICA structures and the UN system.

Since your first Summit in 2002, the CICA process has gained momentum with the elaboration of key principles, and with various multilateral and bilateral initiatives in the security, economic, environmental and cultural spheres.  I am glad to know that CICA is promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes.  I welcome the opportunity to deepen UN-CICA cooperation in combating terrorism.  And I am encouraged by the steps you are taking to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.

The breadth of member States represented at this Summit illustrates the potential of the CICA process to provide effective responses to today's challenges to international peace and security.  Please accept my best wishes for success in your deliberations.

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