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Fact Sheet: Ensuring Security, Promoting Prosperity

November 21, 2004

U.S. Actions at the APEC Leaders' Meeting

"Our third great goal is to help keep up the fight against the forces of terror that threaten the success of our economies, and the stability of the world. Every nation represented here has a stake in this conflict."

President George W. Bush - November 20, 2004

Presidential Action

President Bush came to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit to urge Leaders to take concrete steps to implement last year's APEC "Bangkok Commitments" in order to ensure security and promote prosperity. These complementary goals were achieved as he and fellow APEC Leaders welcomed progress on a number of important initiatives, including:

Protecting International Aviation: A Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPAD) attack on a commercial airliner would have devastating human and economic costs on the regional economy. To address this threat, APEC members agreed to MANPADs guidelines to:

  • Adopt strict domestic export controls on MANPADs
  • Secure MANPAD stockpiles
  • Regulate MANPAD production, transfer, and brokering
  • Ban transfers to non-state end-users
  • Exchange information in support of these efforts

Preventing Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: President Bush welcomed the commitment by all APEC members to implement, conclude, or aim to conclude an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the end of 2005. The Additional Protocol gives the IAEA the tools needed to deter development of weapons of mass destruction and catch proliferators. Additionally, President Bush led APEC Leaders in endorsing a set of Export Control Best Practices that will assist APEC members to facilitate legitimate trade while preventing illicit buyers from obtaining sensitive items that could be used in weapons of mass destruction.

Securing International Shipping and Ports: Leaders agreed to secure international shipping and ports by working toward implementation of the International Maritime Organization's International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The ISPS Code requires port officials to evaluate threats, plan for contingencies, and improve port access controls, and calls for economies to establish standardized ship identification procedures. APEC economies, which account for almost 50 percent of the world's trade and 21 of the world's 30 top container seaports, recognize the urgent need for compliance. In support of the APEC agreement, President Bush and six other leaders launched the ISPS Code Implementation Assistance Program to assist fellow APEC members in complying with the ISPS Code through technical assistance and grants, which will be provided beginning in 2005.

Improving Travel Security: The United States and Australia announced the joint development of a Regional Movement Alert List to check immediately (before or during flights) against records of lost and stolen passports. Additionally, APEC Leaders welcomed progress in implementing business mobility initiatives, including installation of Advanced Passenger Information systems and issuance of machine-readable travel documents.

Strengthening Counterterrorism Cooperation and Capacity: APEC Leaders took actions to improve cooperation to combat transnational terrorist networks by agreeing to take measurable steps toward the ratification and implementation of all basic United Nations counterterrorism conventions, including actions to cut off terrorist financing. Additionally, Australia and Japan joined the United States in contributing to the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Regional Trade and Financial Security Initiative, which builds ADB member-countries' ability to prevent money laundering, combat the financing of terrorism, modernize customs systems, and improve supply chain and port security. The United States also announced support for an APEC regional bio-preparedness study, and two cargo logistics and security studies.

Promoting Regional Health Security: In order to promote regional health security, the United States and Singapore have established a Regional Emerging Disease Intervention (REDI) Center. The REDI Center is dedicated to providing training and research to build regional capacity to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks and bioterror attacks. Through its programs, the REDI Center will extend the perimeter of defense for emerging infectious diseases and other health security threats such as bioterror, widen the international network for research, and translate these findings into improved public health.

Background -- APEC's Bangkok Commitments on Security:Last year President Bush led APEC Leaders in agreeing to the Bangkok Commitments on Security. APEC Leaders agreed to "dedicate APEC" not only to promoting prosperity, but also to the "complementary mission of ensuring the security of our people." Recognizing that terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are direct and profound challenges to APEC's vision of free, open and prosperous economies, Leaders pledged to take "all essential actions" to:

  • Dismantle, fully and without delay, transnational terrorist groups that threaten the APEC economies
  • Eliminate the severe and growing danger posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by strengthening international non-proliferation regimes, adopting and enforcing effective export controls, and taking other legitimate and appropriate measures against proliferation
  • Confront other direct threats to the security of the APEC region Leaders pledged to discuss at each Leaders' Meeting their progress toward these security commitments, and to take specific actions in pursuit of them.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Ensuring Security, Promoting Prosperity Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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