Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 20, 2006

APEC meeting: homeland security on the agenda

Filed under: International HLS — by Christian Beckner on November 20, 2006

Homeland security-related issues figured prominently on the agenda of the APEC ministerial meeting in Vietnam last week, building on related work at these meetings over the past several years. The joint statement from the ministerial meeting contains a lengthy discussion of ongoing work on counter-terrorism, pandemic influenza, and emergency preparedness issues among APEC member nations. There are a number of interesting programs and activities mentioned in the document, such as the Asian Development Bank’s Regional Trade and Financial Security Initiative, APEC work on “Mitigating the Terrorist Threat to the APEC Food Supply”, and a Regional Movement Alert List (RMAL) pilot between the United States, Australia and New Zealand, described as “a world first in real time multilateral travel document data exchange.” There are also descriptions of a number of supply chain security initiatives – an issue of particular importance in the Asia-Pacific region.

It’s difficult to judge any one of these programs in isolation, but collectively, I think they serve an important and necessary purpose, building and strengthening the web of ties among nations and government agencies on homeland security issues, in a way that ultimately improves the security of all participating nations.

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