APEC to take united stand on terrorism
By CNN State Department Correspondent Andrea Koppel
SHANGHAI, China (CNN) -- The 21-nation Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)group will "unequivocally condemn" the terrorist attacks in the United States, CNN has learned.
A strongly-worded statement to be issued Sunday will also agree to implement a series of steps to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation.
The four-page document, obtained by CNN, will cap days of intense diplomacy by U.S. President George W. Bush and aides at the APEC meeting in Shanghai to sustain support for the war against terrorism and for a U.N.-backed interim government in Afghanistan.
The counter-terrorism statement reaffirms the solidarity of the Asia-Pacific economic body in combating terrorism in a "comprehensive" manner and affirms that the United Nations should play a "major" role in this regard.
The leaders will also state that terrorist acts in "all forms and manifestations" are a "profound threat" to all nations posing a "direct challenge" to APEC's vision of "free, open and prosperous economies."
Among the steps to which they will agree are:
-- Appropriate financial measures to prevent the flow of funds to terrorists, including accelerating work on combating financial crimes through APEC Finance Ministers' Working Group on Fighting Financial Crime and increasing involvement in related international standard-setting bodies;
-- Adherence by all economies to relevant international requirements for the security of air and maritime transportation. Leaders will call on transport ministers to take an active part in the discussions on enhancing airport, aircraft and port security, achieve effective outcomes as early as possible, and assure full implementation and cooperation;
-- Strengthening of energy security in the region through the mechanism of the APEC Energy Security Initiative, which examines measures to respond to temporary supply disruptions and longer-term challenges facing the region's energy supply;
-- Strengthening of APEC activities in the area of critical sector protection, including telecommunications, transportation, health and energy;
-- Enhancement of customs communication networks and expeditious development of a global integrated electronic customs network, which would allow customs authorities to enforce laws better while minimizing the impact on the flow of trade;
-- Cooperation to develop electronic movement records systems that will enhance border security while ensuring the movement of legitimate travelers is not disrupted;
-- Strengthening economic and technical cooperation to enable member economies to put in place and enforce effective counter-terrorism measures;
-- Cooperation to limit the economic fallout from the attacks and moves to restore economic confidence in the region through measures to increase economic growth as well as ensure a stable environment for trade, investment, travel and tourism.
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