Asia, Pacific nations vow to fight threats to civil aviation

TOKYO, March 13, 2010 (AFP) – Asia and Pacific nations vowed Saturday to fight emerging terror threats to commercial aircraft by boosting international security standards and measures, including screening technology. The declaration was made in Tokyo at a one-day meeting attended by ministers and senior officials from 17 countries, plus Hong Kong and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security was held in response to an aborted terror attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 approaching Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano noted that the 289 people aboard the plane were from 18 countries including Australia, Japan, Canada, India, Pakistan and China.

“The international dimensions of this incident and the international threat posed by violent extremism require an international response,” she told a news conference after the meeting.

She added that the meeting had come up with a “strong consensus about the need to act and to do so with urgency.”

European countries held a similar meeting, which Napolitano attended, in Spain in January. As did North, Central and South Americ