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Minister For Foreign Affairs - Alexander Downer

Australian Minister For Foreign Affairs - Alexander Downer

Further Assistance to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime in Pacific Region

I am pleased to announce Australia will provide further assistance to help combat terrorism and transnational crime in the Pacific region.

Along with the United States and New Zealand, Australian support will be given to the Secretariat of the Pacific Forum to establish an expert working group to develop a regional framework, which will include model legislation and in-country legislative drafting assistance, to deal with terrorism.

Under this initiative, Australia will allocate up to $150,000 to help the region strengthen its defences against terrorism under the Nasonini Declaration on Regional Security. The declaration commits Pacific Island countries to act collectively in response to security challenges and to implement internationally agreed anti-terrorism measures.

These commitments complement other Australian efforts to combat terrorism and money laundering, including a range of development assistance programs aimed at strengthening legal systems, police forces, border controls and customs operations.

In March 2002 we co-hosted, with New Zealand, the US and the Forum Secretariat, a counter-terrorism workshop for Pacific Island countries.

In addition, Australia has recently committed $20,000 to the Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Project for activities in the Pacific.

These measures all demonstrate the importance the Australian Government places on the need to work collectively within the region to combat terrorism and transnational crime.

The Bali terrorist attacks have highlighted for Pacific Island countries the urgent need to implement counter-terrorism measures such as those embodied in the Nasonini Declaration.

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