On 19 December, Chongqing hosted the 3rd conference of the non-governmental forum of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) organised by the CICA Secretariat, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Chongqing People's Government. The guests of honour included Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Xia Baolong, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand Bhokin Bhalakula, former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka Chamal Rajapaksa, Special Envoy of the People's Republic of China in Eurasia Liu Hui, President of the Chinese Association of Foreign Affairs Wang Chao, President of the China Public Diplomacy Association Wu Hailong, former SCO Secretaries-General Rashid Alimov and Muratbek Imanaliev, Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat Habibullo Mirzozoda, diplomats, scholars and journalists.
At the opening ceremony Deputy Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Sherali Saidamir Jonon read out greetings from SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov, who stressed that the SCO Secretariat greatly appreciates its partnership with the CICA Secretariat and is always ready for interaction on a wide range of issues. The SCO shares the goals of the CICA and believes that the path to peace and prosperity is through building a safe and stable environment, which can only be done by joint efforts in the vast Eurasian space.
At the same time, the Secretary-General emphasised the role of CICA as an efficient platform for a broad and open exchange of views on the approaches to strengthening practical cooperation for the sake of peace, security, stability, mutual understanding and a Pan-Asian consensus on key current issues.
He also pointed out the need to develop the existing regional institutions and persistently consolidate inter-regional cooperation in Asia. According to Vladimir Norov, there is immense potential in the development of all-round interaction between the SCO, CICA, ASEAN and other partner organisations. He also drew the participants' attention to the idea that building a community of common destiny in Asia is one of the answers to the new challenges now facing the SCO and CICA.