Chile's Defense Minister has called for stronger APEC cooperation with other international organizations to counter the terrorist threat.
Minister Michelle Bachelet Jeria made the comments in her opening address to the Second Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) Conference that began today in ViƱa del Mar.
Minister Bachelet told the meeting of over three hundred senior business and government representatives from APEC's 21 Member Economies, that as an important source of regional security, APEC had an important role to play in combating regional terrorism.
"We are seeking increased cooperation between APEC with the Counter Terrorism Action Group of the G-8, The United Nations Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee, the Organization of American States and ASEAN," Minister Bachelet told the meeting.
"Although APEC does not engage directly in security activities, the organization is increasingly regarded as an important source of regional stability. Such stability is fundamental for economic development."
Minister Bachelet highlighted the inseparability of economics with terrorism and a wide range of other security issues in an increasingly globalized world.
"The concept of security has been extended to include ideas of economic security, environmental security, food security, as well as concerns with international crime, illegal migration and various health threats.
"Today the challenges we face are more complex and continue to evolve. Security threats affect us in different ways according to our own realities.
"One of the most compelling challenges we have is to increase international cooperation in order to find common solutions to common problems."
The Second STAR Conference is a major forum for business to share with government their concerns and requirements in relation to countering the terrorist threat.
The first STAR Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2003 led to a series of policy initiatives and measures that have increased regional security while facilitating the movement of legitimate goods, services and passengers across economic border.
The Second STAR Conference covers the four themes of:
  • Air Transportation Security
  • Maritime Security
  • Mobility of People
  • Financial Intelligence Units
The conference concludes on Saturday, March 6.