Last month, the Conference for Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) passed an historic milestone, as heads of state and ministers representing 36 Asian nations met for the first time outside of Kazakhstan for a summit meeting in Istanbul. The organization, Asia's equivalent to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), boasts 22 member nations, ranging from Russia and China to Israel, India and Pakistan.
Regrettably, Western media coverage of the summit focused almost exclusively on one sensational event: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tirade against Israel's interception of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. The flavor of this coverage was summed up by CNN's headline: "Asian Nations Get Together to Slam Israel."
This reporting not only overlooked the significant diplomatic progress that was achieved at the summit, but also did a terrible disservice to a useful and progressive organization.