INDEPENDENT NEWS

Pacific counter-terror preparations in spotlight

Published: Tue 8 Nov 2005 10:20 AM
Pacific puts counter-terrorism preparations under the spotlight
Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed the commencement of the first Pacific Forum-wide discussion-based counter-terrorism exercise at Forum Headquarters in Suva today.
“Exercise Ready Pasifika brings together officials from the Pacific Forum’s 16 members, and representatives from French Polynesia and New Caledonia, as well as regional law enforcement organisations, to allow them to explore the region’s ability to plan for and respond to a hypothetical terrorist incident.
“I first proposed the idea for a Pacific-wide counter-terrorism exercise in May last year.
“Pacific Leaders agreed that an exercise would provide a timely opportunity to examine how well our security systems work internally and regionally, and to check how effectively our countries’ laws and border controls protect our people.
“New Zealand has been very pleased to work with our Pacific partners over the past year to develop and roll out Exercise Ready Pasifika.
“While the risk of an attack in the Pacific is low, it is important that the region is not a weak link in the counter-terrorism chain.
“Terrorist groups have repeatedly proven their ability to seek out and exploit weaknesses in national defences.
"Exercise Ready Pasifika sends a clear message about building the region's counter-terrorist readiness.
“Ensuring that the Pacific is well-prepared to respond to a terrorist threat is an important means of protecting ourselves,” Helen Clark said.
Exercise Ready Pasifika is being hosted by the Pacific Forum Secretariat in Suva, and will take place on 8 and 9 November.

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