First of all I would like to thank the Interpol and the Indonesian National Police for inviting me to provide you with an overview of how international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region is working to help governments counter the threat of terrorism. As Chair of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation's Counter Terrorism Task Force, I would like to outline some of the work that APEC is doing to fight terrorism and prevent terrorist attacks.
As members of the world's pre-eminent police organization, you will agree that though transnational terrorism in its various forms has existed for many years, the tragic events of September 11, 2001, highlighted the need to secure the world's citizens and economies against terrorism. As such, the protection of Asia-Pacific economies and trade from terrorist threats has become a major focus of APEC's agenda. Most recently, in October 2003, in Bangkok, APEC Leaders restated the commitment their predecessors had made at the first Leaders' meeting in 1993, to a shared vision of achieving stability, security and prosperity for the people of the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to securing APEC's trade, APEC Leaders have also agreed to dismantle, fully and without delay, transnational terrorist groups that threaten APEC economies; to eliminate the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction; to strengthen domestic controls on Man Portable Air Defence Systems; and to confront other direct threats to the security of our region. The commitment of our Leaders to these ambitious tasks, many of which touch directly on your operational responsibilities, will likely resonate with you.
We have been asked why APEC, as a traditionally economic forum, has engaged in the mounting counter-terrorism dialogue. The response is simply that terrorism is one of the most destructive threats to the APEC goals of free trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Terrorism not only destroys the lives and property of individuals, but also attacks the entire economies, undermining market confidence, inflating the cost of trade and reducing market activity. APEC's 21 member economies represent about 60 percent of the world's GDP and half of its trade. Most of the world's largest seaports and busiest airports are located in APEC economies.
Therefore, failure to act would have severe repercussions and put APEC's economies at risk. For example, the economic cost of a terrorist attack on US ports could be up to $58 billion for the US and reduce nominal GDP in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia by 1.1 per cent. In the case of Indonesia, the Bali bombings resulted in a dip of about half a percentage point in our GDP growth but its major impact was on small and medium sized enterprises and the tourist industry. The effects of terrorism on the aviation and airline industries over the last few years have been severe.
In response, APEC members have agreed to implement a multi-faceted approach to combating terrorism. Key elements of this strategy include:
- The Secure Trade in the APEC Region, or STAR, initiative;
- Preventing the flow of funds to terrorists; Protecting critical infrastructure; and
- Working in partnership with the private sector to implement these measures.
- To oversee the implementation of this strategy, last February, APEC Senior Officials established a Counter-Terrorism Task Force. The aim of this High-Level Group is to coordinate APEC's response to terrorism; to facilitate cooperation between APEC working groups and committees on counter-terrorism issues; and to facilitate regional and bilateral capacity building and technical assistance programs, including consultations with international financial institutions.
Today I would like to outline for you some of the work APEC is doing to enhance the capacity of regional governments to protect their citizens and economies from the threat of terrorism.
APEC's Counter-Terrorism Task Force has a mandate to coordinate and enhance cooperation in combating international terrorism. APEC recognizes that terrorists know no boundaries, and that only comprehensive and consistent global action will succeed in defeating them. That is why APEC works with other regional and international partners to protect all our citizens and economies from terrorism. We cannot afford to duplicate the work of others, nor can we leave gaps for the terrorists to exploit. One of the key roles of the Counter-Terrorism Task Force is to cooperate with other international organizations such as the ASEAN, the OAS, the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Civil Aviation Organization and the G8-s affiliated Counter Terrorism Action Group.
Indeed, another role of APEC's Counter-Terrorism Task Force is to make the connections between the capacity building needs of economies and the agencies such as Interpol with the relevant expertise. To facilitate the exchange of information on their security needs, APEC member economies have prepared Counter-Terrorism Action Plans (CTAP). These plans list specific objectives and expected outputs by each economy to secure cargo, protect people in transit, secure ships engaged in international voyages, secure international aviation, halt the financing of terrorism, enhance cyber security, secure energy supplies and protect the health of our communities.
Relevant APEC fora are now looking at the CTAPs to determine specific regional gaps in counter-terrorism capacity relevant to their fields. It is proposed that this year, the completed CTAPs and data provided by the APEC fora will form the basis of a rigorous qualitative cross-analysis by Asia-Pacific security experts. This analysis would seek to identify linkages between the various CTAP objectives and regional needs to promote and facilitate effective regional and multi-disciplinary/multi-agency responses to shared challenges.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While APEC's programs may not be as exciting as the day-to-day investigative work undertaken by law enforcement authorities, they can help limit the capacity of terrorist groups to mount attacks and also help law enforcement and other organizations to monitor the activities of terrorist groups.
On Halting the financing of terrorism, APEC economies are working to deny terrorists access to the world's financial system, while at the same time, using the money trail to locate and apprehend terrorists. In 2002, APEC Leaders agreed to make an effort in ratifying the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and to implement, as soon as possible, the measures called for in UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1390. The FATF's recommendations on money laundering and special recommendations on terrorism financing create a sound framework to detect, prevent and suppress terrorism financing. Particularly noteworthy, from a law enforcement perspective, are the recommendations to criminalize terrorism financing; to require financial institutions to report suspicious transactions, and; to enhance mutual legal assistance and information sharing.
To protect our trade, APEC economies have begun to implement the Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) Initiative. This aims to strengthen security against terrorist threats while simultaneously boosting trade efficiency. The program involves specific measures to protect cargo, ships, aviation and people crossing borders. It also involves private sector representatives working in partnership with APEC economies to implement necessary measures to secure trade.
APEC members have been cooperating to strengthen border security through enhanced supply chain security guidelines. Private Sector Supply Chain Security Guidelines were approved by APEC last August. These non-binding guidelines are business friendly and are being used by the private sector to enhance their supply chain security practices.
Many APEC ports are also participating in the United States Container Security Regime. This initiative assures the in-transit integrity of containers and provides electronic information on a container's contents to customs, port and shipping officials as early as possible in the supply chain.
The STAR Initiative is also helping to protect ships engaged in international voyages through capacity building programs to assist economies adopt the International Maritime Organization's international ship and port security codes by July 2004. This will be followed by the installation of automatic identification systems on certain ships by December 2004. APEC is also developing standards for detection equipment and other security technology.
The fight against pirates in the region is also being enhanced with increased cooperation between APEC fora and organizations such as the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre. The Accreditation of Seafarer Manning Agencies in the APEC Region Project aims to develop a system for accrediting manning agents who provide employees to maritime companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
The APEC Transportation Working Group is also supporting the development and use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to enhance supply chain security and increase the efficiency of trade. These systems involve the use of electronic cargo seals and sensors, increased efficiency in inspecting seals, the use of electronic cargo manifests and Global Navigational Satellite Systems. In addition to maritime trade, the STAR Initiative is enhancing the safety and security of airline passengers and crew. APEC economies have agreed to introduce highly effective screening procedures and equipment at all APEC international airports no later than 2005. Programs are underway to help economies meet international safety standards and to ensure that aviation personnel are properly trained and have the necessary resources to carry out their responsibilities.
The STAR Initiative also seeks to ensure the safety and security of people in transit in the APEC region through the development of standards for the implementation of Advance Passenger Information systems, the application of biometrics and to improve the security of travel documentation, and through ensuring the highest levels of integrity of all border officials. Advance Passenger Information (API) systems provide the important benefit of giving advance notice to border control agencies of who is travelling to their borders, enabling passenger details to be pre processed and checked against relevant alert lists, and for appropriate arrangements to be made for high risk persons on their arrival by law enforcement personnel.
The implementation of API systems across the region will provide significant benefits for all economies by maximising the security of travel for genuine travellers and by reducing opportunities for travel by unauthorised or improperly documented persons, and persons otherwise suspected of being involved in illegal activities, such as terrorism. APEC standards for the implementation of API systems have been agreed and it is expected that an API system will become operational in most APEC economies over the next few years.
Border security is also being strengthened through the development of an APEC regional movement alert system that will detect persons of concern and lost, stolen and fraudulent travel documentation. And APEC is strengthening the capacity of border security agencies with a range of projects covering: document examination and fraud detection; travel document security; and standard codes of professional conduct and service for immigration officers.
In the area of custom, to provide the data necessary to target high-risk shipments for inspection and facilitate trade, APEC economies are working to implement common standards for an electronic customs reporting system developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). APEC is also undertaking programs, including training, to simplify and harmonize customs procedures so as to improve the accuracy, certainty, uniformity and transparency of customs procedures.
APEC is also helping to building the systemic risk management capacity necessary to allow customs administrations to target resources where they are most needed. Other programs are helping to raise the level of integrity of customs administrations in the region and to facilitate the electronic lodgement and processing of customs related information by importers and exporters. This will reduce or eliminate the need for paper documents in customs administration and make it easier for law enforcement personnel to target suspicious cargos or traders.
Given the importance of the internet to international trade and commerce, in October 2002, APEC Leaders committed to implement measures to strengthen cyber-security. These include: (a) enacting comprehensive legal frameworks needed to combat cybercrime consistent with the provisions of international legal instruments such as the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/63 (2000) and the Convention on Cybercrime (2001); (b) establishing law enforcement points of contact to allow for swift cooperation in investigating cybercrimes; and (c) developing an international network of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to share information on the threats to our information infrastructures. APEC Ministers also endorsed the APEC Cybersecurity Strategy. This is an action plan for APEC's work to enhance information security throughout the region. The APEC e-Security Task Group has implemented several initiatives to fulfill the Leaders' commitments, including the Cybercrime Legislation and Enforcement Capacity Building Project and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTs) Awareness Raising and Capacity Building Project. These programs are helping to establish the laws and institutions that will enhance cybersecurity and facilitate the investigation of cyberterrorism.
It is not part of APEC's mandate to engage in traditional law enforcement counter-terrorism activities: this is your job. Nor does APEC directly engage in the delivery of international counter-terrorism assistance. However, APEC can support the efforts of law enforcement and other security officials in a number of ways. First, working with other international organizations, APEC can help build political will and generate the support needed for the implementation of new security-related norms and standards. While providing security is a primary role of government, it is not the only priority of governments: involvement in APEC can bring member economies together in a dialogue which focuses on building a secure environment that also facilitates trade. One of the first steps to doing this is for relevant member economies to ratify and implement the 12 UN Conventions and Protocols related to counter-terrorism, a measure that APEC Leaders supported in the 2001 Shanghai Declaration. Together with UN Security Council Resolution 1373, these instruments form the international legal framework necessary to facilitate the prevention, detection and response to terrorist activity. This "legislative defence" is often the springboard for the enactment of the domestic legislation that enables you to do your job.
Ladies and Gentlemen,Distinguished participants,
Allow me to conclude by stressing the importance of capacity building, in particular the need to strengthen the institutional capacity of governments to combat terrorism. APEC's programs to secure efficient trade start with the identification of capacity building needs. These needs are being coordinated internally within APEC and with other international organizations to match each target economy's unique situation.
Building the Asia Pacific into a region that is both more secure and more efficient is a significant undertaking. However, I should like to stress that no mater how hard we in APEC undertake our efforts in countering terrorism, without you all, the INTERPOL and the law enforcement community, we will not be able to effectively build a prosper Asia Pacific region as envisioned by our Leaders in Bogor in 1994.
For further details, please contact: