APEC Leaders Condemn International Terrorism

Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation /APEC/ forum, who have gathered for a summit meeting in Shanghai, condemn international terrorism and declare their firm intention to prevent all kinds of terrorist acts, reads a draft anti-terrorist Statement, which will shortly be signed by APEC leaders. Participants in the Shanghai forum strongly condemn the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, which they regard, together with all other forms of terrorism, as a serious threat to peace, prosperity and safety of all people, regardless of their nationality or faith. Besides, terrorism "is an open challenge to the image of APEC as a community of free, open and prosperous economies, as well as to the basic principles of this organisation," reads the draft. However, the document does not mention the US-led military operation in Afghanistan, which aroused much controversy amidst APEC leaders. According to RIA Novosti's sources, the lack of accord mostly resulted from Indonesia's appeal for a more cautious and well thought-out approach to the anti-terrorist struggle. APEC leaders deem it expedient to strengthen all-round anti-terrorist cooperation at all levels, and stress that the United Nations must act the leading part in this effort. They also support all kinds of actions aimed at the strengthening of the international anti-terrorist regime and call on the world community to step up cooperation in order to make the guilty answerable and to sign and ratify all basic universal anti-terrorist conventions /including the International Convention of cutting off terrorist financing/ as soon as possible. Summit participants point out the necessity of applying appropriate measures to the financial sphere and speeding up the work of the Working Group of APEC Finance Ministers in the sphere of combating financial crimes. The draft also mentions the importance of observing international safety requirements for air and water transport, tightening energy security in the region and taking measures within the APEC framework to protect critical sectors, i.e. telecommunications, transport, healthcare and the energy sector. APEC leaders stress their resoluteness to expand cooperation in the anti-terrorist struggle by means of perfecting customs communications and speeding up creation of a global integrated electronic customs system and a system of electronic registration of passengers, developing the potential and furthering economic and technical cooperation to help APEC members carry out effective anti-terrorist measures. Likewise, APEC leaders commit themselves to information exchange and coordination of actions between the bodies of power responsible for economic policy and finance with the purpose of preventing possible terrorist damage to markets and economies. Issues related to terrorism are also brought up in the final Declaration of APEC Economic Leaders, which stresses collective resoluteness of the Asia Pacific community to counteract terrorism.

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