The CICA was first proposed by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the 47th Session of the UN General Assembly in October 1992. The international forum aims to strengthen cooperation to safeguard the peace, security and stability of Asia. It provides a multilateral consultation mechanism acceptable to Asian countries with different political systems and economic development levels.
The Secretariat of the CICA is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. The leaders of its member states hold summits every four years. The CICA currently has 24 member states, covering 90 percent of the territory and population of the Asian Continent. It also has more than 10 observer states and observer international organizations. China, which holds its presidency from 2014 to 2016, will host a CICA summit in Shanghai in May.
In the past more than 20 years, the CICA has achieved rapid development with the adoption of a series of new confidence-building measures. These measures touch on the fields of economy, ecology and culture, responding to new challenges and threats such as terrorism, money laundering, drug smuggling and human trafficking, military cooperation and politics.