September 23, 2013
KABUL â€“ Senior officials from countries participating in the Istanbul Process and from states supporting this process met on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York today.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ershad Ahmadi and Ambassador Luo Zhaohui of the Peoples Republic of China, the host of the next Ministerial Meeting in 2014, chaired the meeting.
Mr. Ahmadi underlined the overall success of the Istanbul Process and its rapid and remarkable maturation since countries of the Heart of Asia region launched the process in Istanbul in November 2011. He pointed to the particular success of the recent ministerial meeting in Almaty in April that marked the implementation phase of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) adopted by all participating countries. He clarified that it is imperative that all participating countries do their utmost to sustain the momentum of the process and to take it forward.
â€œI think it is proper to say that it is time for action on part of both the Heart of AsiaÂ and the Supporting countries and organizations,â€ said Mr. Ahmadi. â€œIt is a great chance for all supporting countries and regional and international organizations to demonstrate their solid and concrete support for this process.â€
Mr. Ahmadi added, â€œwe are hopeful that with the leadership and support of the very valuable and active co-chair, the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China, we will be able to meet these promises.â€
Participants emphasized the value of political consultation as a platform for dialogue and constructive engagement, as well as the importance of the implementation of the CBMs.
Ambassador Luo highlighted that the region must play an important role in the context of regional cooperation especially at a time when Afghanistan is going through a historic political and security transition. He added that the Istanbul Process has achieved a lot in a short period and that the region should continue to cooperate bilaterally and through multilateral platforms like that of the Heart of Asia.
Mr. Jan Kubis, Sepcial Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Afghanistan, said that the region now realizes that it has a shared responsibility to respond to the common challenges it faces, and work together to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region
The meeting agreed that the co-chairs will share a number of specific issues with all participants for discussion ahead of the next officials meeting.
Participants also discussed major issues and developments related to the security, political and economic situation in the Heart of Asia region.
The meeting also heard about the results of an expert study on options for a funding mechanism to help the implementation of CBMs, and agreed that a final decision will hopefully be reached about such a funding mechanism at the next senior officials meeting to be held on 6 December 2013 in New Delhi.
Ambassador Luo briefed the meeting regarding Chinaâ€™s preparations for the next ministerial meeting of the Istanbul Process to be held in the summer of next year in Tian Jin city.