Hiroshima, Japan, 25 February 2010 - Critical to protecting the regional economic system, the threat of terrorism is being taken very seriously by APEC member economies.
Apart from causing immediate harm, attacks or even the threat of attacks can lead to lost revenue and decrease investor confidence.
Evolving technology leads to more sophisticated security systems; but also creates new opportunities for criminal behaviour.
For example, explains Lonnie Kishiyama, International Operations, Office of Global Strategies, United States:
"The spectacular nature of a successful aviation attack continues to motivate terrorists to find ways around security measures."
In a meeting of the APEC Counter-Terrorism Taskforce (CTTF) today, members expressed determination to counter terrorist activity through concerted and holistic efforts.
Based on a summary of reports from APEC members last year, priority areas include:
Enhancing secure trade in the APEC region (ie. Protection of cargo, ships engaged in international voyages, international aviation, and people in transit, and combating threats to security);
Halting terrorist financing; and
Promoting cyber security.
In 2010, each economy will review and update its Counter-Terrorism Action Plan. These plans will be shared among members as a means to exchange best practices; coordinate international response systems more closely; and identify needs for capacity-building.
Seminars on current and emerging trends in money laundering and terrorism financing are scheduled to take place in Bangkok, 12 - 14 May and 22 - 24 September.
The Unites States will host the Second Air Cargo Experts' Workshop, with a view to enhancing air cargo supply chain security this spring.
Key areas of focus for APEC 2010 include: regional economic integration, new economic growth and human security. To this end, the APEC Counter-Terrorism Task Force strengthens and coordinates regional efforts to ensure human and trade security.
The next meeting of the CTTF will take place in Sapporo, Japan in May.
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