A call for "new partnerships between government and business to counteract terrorist threats" has been made by the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat in a presentation to the United Nations Security Council's Special Meeting of the Counter Terrorism Committee in New York last Thursday.
At the Committee Meeting APEC Secretariat Executive Director, Ambassador Piamsak Milintachinda delivered an update of APEC's agenda to counter terrorism, including the Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) Initiative that was endorsed by APEC Leaders last year.
"One of the most important outcomes of the first STAR Conference was the clear determination of the public and private sectors to forge a partnership to overcome the threat posed by terrorism to the regional and global economy," Ambassador Milintachinda said.
"Co-ordination between public and private entities at the national and international level was also necessary to counteract terrorist threats throughout the supply chain."
"Last week the first STAR Conference in Bangkok, Thailand brought together a broad range of key players from APEC's 21 member economies, official agencies and private sector companies."
"The purpose of the STAR conference was to identify and promote ways to facilitate the efficient and secure movement of goods and people in the APEC region."
The APEC Executive Director also informed the Committee Meeting that APEC has encouraged its member economies to meet international commitments to counter terrorism by issuing the Statement on Fighting Terrorism. In that Statement, APEC Leaders committed to faithfully and immediately implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1390 relating to counter-terrorism.
Ambassador Milintachinda said since the September 11 attacks, the relationship between counter terrorism and trade has become particularly apparent and prompted APEC to become increasingly involved with counter terrorism issues.
"Last month in Thailand, APEC Senior Officials endorsed a Counter Terrorism Action Plan, which lists specific objectives and outputs for APEC economies that are expected to undermine terrorism and promote trade," Ambassador Milintachinda said.
"The Counter Terrorism Action Plan includes measures to secure cargoes in the air and sea, protect people in transit, secure energy supplies, and halt the financing of terrorism."
"APEC has also established a 'Counter-Terrorism Task Force (CTTF)' to promote an effective discussion and to co-ordinate the diverse range of activities related to counter-terrorism issues.
"One of the CTTF's tasks is to co-ordinate regional and bilateral capacity building and technical assistance programmes, including through consultations with international financial institutions"
"APEC economies have different levels of development and financial resources, and through capacity programmes, the strengths and potential of all people in the APEC region can be better realised."
"Another task of the CTTF is to cooperate with other international organizations such as the IMO, the WCO and ICAO, to implement the Counter Terrorism Action Plan," Ambassador Milintachinda said.
"The Committee Meeting agreed that their coordinated approach to the suppression of terrorism would be based on sharing of data and best practices relevant to global cooperation."