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APEC & Interpol Cooperate to Combat Terrorism

Bali Meeting Reviews Counter Terrorism Plan for the Region.

(1/26/2004) At an Interpol Executive Police Conference on Counter Terrorism just concluded in Bali, the Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) outlined the region's plan to build capacity of regional economies to improve security.

Ambassador Makarim Wibisono told the meeting of senior police officers in Bali that APEC's counter terrorism programs start with identifying the needs of developing economies to build their capacity to counter the terrorist threat.

"The need to strengthen the institutional capacity of governments to combat terrorism is essential for protecting the people and economy of the Asia Pacific region," Ambassador Wibisono told the conference.

"These needs are being coordinated between the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force and international organizations such as Interpol and the ADB to match each economy's unique situation.

"APEC's programs aim to strengthen security against terrorist threats while simultaneously boosting trade efficiency."

"APEC Member Economies have prepared individual Counter Terrorism Action Plans listing specific counter terrorism objectives. These plans are now being analyzed by APEC working groups to identify gaps in the region's counter terrorism capacity and to seek ways to strengthen security in these areas.

"APEC supports the efforts of law enforcement and other security officials by working with other international organizations and helping to build political will for the implementation of new security standards.

"APEC initiatives to protect critical infrastructure, track terrorist finances and prevent the movement of terrorists across borders is contributing to the work of law enforcement agencies. These measures are aiding governments in their efforts to apprehend terrorists and to prevent attacks from taking place."

APEC has 21 members - referred to as "Member Economies" - which account for more than 2.5 billion people, a combined GDP of 19 trillion US dollars and 47% of world trade. It also represents one of the most economically dynamic regions in the world having generated nearly 70% of global economic growth over the past 10 years.