RP  TO  HOST  COUNTER-TERRORISM  MEET  IN  CEBU  APRIL 20-22

MANILA
, February 9, 2006, (MALAYA) INTERNATIONAL experts, policymakers, civil society crusaders and renowned scholars are expected to attend a counter-terrorism conference to be hosted by the Philippines on April 20-22 in Mactan, Cebu, the foreign affairs department said yesterday.

"With the theme Defeating Dilemmas in Counter-Terrorism, the conference intends to strengthen appreciation of the basics of counter-terrorism, understand its sub-regional approaches and pave the way for its adoption in national security policies," the DFA said in a statement.

Strategies in counter-terrorism that will complement current international efforts utilizing the perspective of countries that live with and take prime responsibility for dealing with the threat will also be extensively explored during the conference, the DFA added.

The output will be distilled in the form of a concluding declaration, to be called the Mactan Concord.

An inter-agency National Organizing Committee led by the Office of the President with the DFA, the Office of the Ambassador-at-Large for Counter Terrorism and the Anti-Terrorism Task Force headed by the Executive Secretary as members, is organizing the event to be held at Mactan’s Shangri-La Hotel. Officials of embassies and other foreign missions in the Philippines will be invited to join as guests, together with representatives from Philippine anti-terrorism agencies.

The DFA said the Philippines is well positioned to hold the international conference because it chairs the United Nations Security Council 1566 counter-terrorism committee which monitors reports on all non-al Qaeda and non-Taliban terrorist activities.

The Philippines also heads the APEC counter-terrorism task force which coordinates members’ implementation of the 2002 Leaders’ Statement on Fighting Terrorism and advances counter-terrorism assistance.

The country is also the incoming chair of the Standing Committee of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations when it convenes in March 2006. President Arroyo first announced the holding of the conference at the meeting of ASEAN leaders on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Busan, Korea on Nov. 18, 2005.

The hosting of the conference is an expression of Philippine commitment to further contribute to the international campaign against terrorism, the DFA said. – Marilou Jumilla


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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