Asian food and energy security explored in CICA think tank forum
Panelists from around Asia exchanged their views on the global security environment, its impacts on food and energy security in the region, and how Asian countries should strengthen their security capacity in related areas at the tenth meeting of the CICA Think Tank Forum.
Participants also shared their views on the role the CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia) should play in promoting inter-state cooperation to address non-traditional security issues.
Themed "Sustainable Security in Asia in a Period of Turbulence and Transformation: Challenges and Vision," the forum was held in Shanghai from November 30 to December 1. It was organized by Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) and supervised by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addressing the forum, SIIS president Chen Dongxiao cited the importance of the think tank forum in generating systematic and forward-looking thinking for CICA.
CICA has been in place for 30 years. According to Confucius, the 30th year is the year of erli, or "standing firm," explained Chen.
Chen stressed two aspects as pivotal in helping the organization stand firm.
First, the vision and ambition for standing firm. As the world experiences unprecedented transformation and a new, disruptive cycle of turbulence, economic globalization has been met with headwinds. Ideological confrontations and clique politics become salient features. As a consequence, multilateralism and global multilateral mechanisms face the threat of erosion. On the other hand, the historical trend of peace and development and win-win cooperation is clearly unstoppable.
Chen said CICA is the most extensive and representative cooperative mechanism regarding regional security issues in the Asian region. During the Sixth CICA Summit held in October in Astana, Kazakhstan, leaders of member states focused on a new vision for Asia in an emerging new world. All signs show that CICA will continue to play a stabilizing role in the turbulent times now as it evolves into a more important regional security mechanism.
Chen pledged that the CICA Think Tank Forum will help conceive a more detailed roadmap to CICA's transformation.
Secondly, Chen pointed to the importance of strengthened collaboration and capability building that promise to help CICA stand firm. Currently, Chen said, the biggest challenge confronting global and regional security mechanisms like CICA is that the international community's consensus on multilateralism is not extensive enough, the confidence in multilateralism is not strong enough, and there are still doubts over the function and efficacy of multilateralism. The recently concluded Sixth Summit discussed multiple issues on how to enhance CICA collaboration and capability building, with particular emphasis on how to balance security and development, traditional and non-traditional security issues, and on jettisoning the zero-sum mindset and a confrontational security regime, so as to make regional security more sustainable.
In addressing the forum, Kairat Sarybay, Secretary General of the CICA Secretariat, after saluting China's contribution to the development of the think tank forum, said the establishment of the think tank forum has led to the creation of a new platform for discussing the ways and problems of development, not just on CICA itself, but also, in a broader sense, challenges facing the world today.
"The forum statutes and composition make it possible to consider almost an unlimited range of issues to produce analytical assessments and recommendations which can be used in the future by CICA member states," he said, adding this is why the think tank forum is particularly valuable.
In subsequent panel sessions participants shared their views on the food and energy security issues confronting many developing countries in Asia and the need to strengthen security capacity building in related areas given the changing global security environment and the global spillover of traditional security issues. Participants also conceived the CICA role in promoting inter-state cooperation while addressing non-traditional security issues.
Sustainable development also came to the forefront in the forum discussion, on the belief that sustainable development is the basis for enhancing sustainable security capabilities.
Panelists then aired their views on CICA's role in the green transformation, through intra-regional connectivity in Asia, as essential to the new regional economic integration.
It's also an important basis for building more effective regional industrial chains.
Panelists also explored the many challenges confronting CICA in its transformation and development, particularly in light of the dramatic changes in the global and regional security environment.