APEC to Conduct Regional Emergency Alert Exercise
Arequipa, Peru, 24 May 2008
Peru will conduct an exercise in civil aviation, testing the response of APEC economies in a hypothetical emergency, modeled on a situation of terrorist attack.
APEC's Counter Terrorism Task Force addresses issues of security affecting trade. To this end, a series of exercises will determine future prospects for emergency preparation and the potential for collaborative actions throughout the region.
In one exercise, designated contact points will be contacted by Peru as a means of testing the ability of economies to respond quickly in the case of an emergency in civil aviation.
An official at the office of the Peruvian Senior Official's, Raúl Salazar Cosío explained:
"The network is already established. But the exercise will reveal the extent to which economies are able to respond to collective alerts and whether the network is always ready and prepared to deal with a possible threat."
The results of this exercise will be shared at the next Senior Officials Meeting in August.
Other task force initiatives include cooperation among Peru and the United States in a pilot programme for food defence against deliberate acts of food contamination.
"As of yet, we have to improve coordination between the public and private sectors to stop the spread of contaminated food. Our increasing levels of foreign trade and the proportion of food exports in it means that this sort of coordination is imperative," says Salazar Cosío. "This is a very natural progression for an open economy like Peru." The project would endeavour to train private enterprises to guarantee the safety of food products throughout the processing chain.
The Counter Terrorism Task Force meets three times per year, prior to the Senior Officials' meeting.