The APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force has committed a significant part of its 2003 work plan to building the capacity of developing economies for an increased level of counter terrorism preparedness.
Chair of the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force, Ambassador Makarim Wibisono, said there is broad appreciation of the collective responsibility terrorism imposes on all APEC Members.
"No APEC economy is immune from the threat posed by terrorism," said Ambassador Wibisono at the first meeting of the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
"APEC members are sharing the load of strengthening the capacity of the region to fight terrorism while at the same time protecting free trade.
"APEC Members accept their collective responsibility that must be achieved through implementing measures laid out in each economy's individual Counter Terrorism Action Plan.
"The APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force is identifying areas where individual economies can share skills and also provide additional assistance where it is needed."
"In our work plan for the following year, the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force will work with each member economy to identify areas where capacity building assistance can be provided.
"These resources will mostly be provided by APEC members or APEC fora that are able to provide the infrastructure and expertise that is needed.
"APEC will also seek the assistance of international financial institutions that are able to provide additional financial resources.
"Other support may include advice and training to develop best practices and regulations for which cooperation with international organizations and the business community will be sought."
Over coming months the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force will also continue to implement measures to achieve the targets laid out in the 'APEC Leaders Statement on Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Growth.' This is the statement issued by the Leaders of APEC economies when they met in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2002. The statement was issued by the Leaders following growing concern of the damage terrorism was inflicting on both the social and economic well-being of the region.
The APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force will report back to the Leaders of APEC economies at the annual Leaders Meeting that will be held in Bangkok in October.