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Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, "Government and Business - Natural Allies in the Struggle Against Terrorism"

01.01.70

The Global Forum for Partnerships between Governments and Businesses to Counter Terrorism, opening in Moscow on November 28, is being held in accordance with the Russian-initiated decisions of the G8 St. Petersburg Summit. In their Declaration on Counter-Terrorism, the leaders of the G8 emphasized "the importance in a globalized world of working closely with our private sector partners in our efforts to counter terrorism and to bolster capacity to protect our citizens and businesses as they pursue their work and leisure." They favored the holding of the Global Forum in Moscow and committed to close cooperation among themselves, with other states and with business partners to make the public-private antiterrorist partnership initiative a sustained and successful process. It is equally important that the forum will actually be the concluding event of Russia's presidency of the G8.

Apart from the representatives of the G8 countries' governments, about four hundred high-ranking representatives of government and private entities and of international organizations are expected to attend. Represented at the top company executives level will be big foreign business: Finmeccanica, Anglo Platinum, Siemens, Telenor, EADS, Deutsche Telekom, Bombardier, Societe Generale, Citigroup.

Among the leading Russian participants will be top executives from the companies Alrosa, Norilsk Nickel, Rusal, Interros, Vneshtorgbank, Mechel, MDM-Bank, Intourist.

Managers of enterprise entities of medium-sized and small business have confirmed their participation.

Such a widely representative character of the forum is absolute proof of its timeliness and the undoubted interest of business circles in joining forces with governments in the struggle against terrorism.

It is planned to adopt at the forum a strategy for antiterrorist partnerships between governments and businesses. Its basic principles: mutually advantageous cooperation, based on voluntary involvement, equality, trust and consideration of each other's interests. Helping each of the participants to understand better its role, tasks and responsibility in countering terrorism, the strategy is directed towards joint identification of the areas where efforts by governments and the business community could integrally and effectively supplement one another; for government and business are natural allies in the struggle against terrorism.

We are certain that pragmatism, the enterprising spirit, and the professional knowledge of the subject of their business activities will help businesses make a weighty contribution to governments' antiterrorist efforts and, most important, to ensuring the safety and security of people and protecting our society and its values from terrorism.

I will explain this by the following example. It's no secret that international smuggling of precious metals and diamonds is financially expressed in very impressive sums. A portion of these illegal proceeds is being used to fund terrorist activities. Companies engaged in this sector have come up with an initiative to combine the capacities of governments and business entities in creating an effective global system to put an end to the contraband of precious metals. That is, the talk is not only about suppressing this channel of financial support of international terrorism, but also about closing the criminal possibilities as a whole in connection with this type of business.

One more, in our opinion, undoubtedly promising idea is the suggestion from the Italian corporation Finmeccanica to create a public-private consultative council to secure a protected and effective communication between critically important, primarily energy, infrastructures.

Also dedicated to the protection of the rights of terrorism victims are the ideas being put forward under the initiative and at the upcoming forum, of creating international schemes of insurance for terrorist acts. This is only a detail of the illustration of the broad spectrum of ideas to be discussed at the forum.

We expect that a serious, keen discussion will take place at the forum, aimed at achieving concrete results. Its outcome must be the launching of a qualitatively new international process of cooperation - antiterrorist partnerships between governments and the business community.

Unofficial translation from Russian

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group