APEC Leaders Call for United Front to Fight Terrorism

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A joint declaration calling for global cooperation to fight terrorism was issued during the recently held Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders meeting in the Philippines.

“Economic growth, prosperity and opportunity are among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization. We stress the urgent need for increased international cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism,” according to the Leaders declaration.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who attended the summit in behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, urged the leaders for increased cooperation for food, energy and security. He also stressed the need for economies to unite against terrorism, stating that the attacks against Paris and Russia were not just crimes against two countries but against the whole world and therefore needs a global response.

The APEC Summit 2015 had for its theme, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.” It was attended by 21 member economies and was a platform to discuss cooperation which includes planning and commitments that will lead to global economic growth. The meeting was held after terrorist attacks in Paris, in Beirut and the bombing of a Russian aircraft in Egypt.

In May 2003, APEC established the APEC Counter-Terrorism Task Force. APEC has its own Counter Terrorism Action Plan (CTAP). Each member has its own checklist of counter terrorism measures which covers securing cargo, protecting people in transit, protecting ships engaged in international voyages and international aviation, combating threats to security, measures to halt the financing of terrorism, and promoting cyber-security.

Aside from the call for unity and condemnation against terrorism, the APEC meet has declared commitment for more inclusive economies in the vision that the benefits of economic growth and technological progress may be enjoyed by the people of each member economy.

The 2015 APEC Leaders declaration focused on building inclusive economies, fostering micro, small and medium enterprises, participation in regional and global markets, building sustainable and resilient communities, investing in human capital development and enhancing the regional economic integration agenda. (Jane Obana)