1. The Ministers of Justice and the Interior of the G8 countries, the Procurator General of the Russian Federation and the Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs of the European Union met May 13 and 14 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada to discuss the protection of our society from international terrorism and crime. This Summary reflects the Chairpersons’ objective overview of discussions that occurred at this meeting.
2. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, G8 Leaders requested that their relevant Ministers develop measures to fight terrorism. The measures undertaken, which are within our collective scope of responsibility, are outlined in a report entitled G8 Justice and Interior Ministers’ Progress Report on Counter Terrorism. Our G8 colleagues at Foreign Ministries will report on additional measures at their meeting next month.
3. We specifically evaluated the threat of terrorists’ use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons (CBRN). We are all aware of the potentially devastating impact of CBRN threats, whether real or hoax. We must be prepared for the unexpected. We value the importance of multi-disciplinary and international approaches in order to respond quickly and effectively. We shared information on our countries’ capacities and techniques to respond in the case of terrorist incidents involving CBRN weapons. The importance of sharing information between States was highlighted. We approved the work of G8 experts on best practices being developed in the area of chemical and biological weapons and requested further work by experts, particularly in developing best practices, to address radiological and nuclear incidents. We also welcomed specific work to be undertaken by experts on consequence management with regard to incidents involving industrial plants and transportation of toxic agents, as well as work on simulation training exercises.
4. We considered a number of legal issues with respect to terrorist financing. We believe that funding is the lifeblood of terrorists. We highlighted the importance of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and the eight recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as the basis of a framework for taking domestic and international action to combat terrorist financing. We have determined that G8 countries already share, to a great extent, equivalent and effective legal capabilities to freeze terrorist assets. We agreed that efforts to accelerate the ability to take freezing action are very important. We also agreed that we need to go beyond merely freezing terrorist assets and take measures to forfeit them, so as to permanently deprive terrorists of their funds. We recognize that anti-money laundering measures developed to combat organized crime may also be useful in combatting terrorist financing. We reviewed our laws which allow us to forfeit assets and we noted that some countries have used other processes, for example civil or administrative law mechanisms, in addition to criminal laws. We noted that terrorist funding is sometimes provided by individuals who otherwise appear to be law abiding individuals. Further consideration should be given to developing means to compensate the victims of terrorist acts, and to create legal or administrative mechanisms to share forfeited assets with other countries. We noted that we are removing obstacles in the area of judicial cooperation to pursue effective common action against terrorist financing. We are committed to addressing remaining challenges. In this regard, we endorse the Report of the G8 Meeting on Legal Measures to Combat Terrorist Financing.
Appropriate Use of Technology to Ensure Public Safety
5. We reaffirmed our commitment expressed in previous meetings to combat high-tech crime. We note that our work is now more relevant than ever, as we know that the Internet has been used by terrorists to communicate and plan attacks. We commend the work of our experts whom we called upon first in Moscow (1999) to develop options, and then in Milan (2001) to finalize a set of recommendations to trace network communications for the purposes of criminal investigations. Further to our instructions, our experts consulted with industry representatives on this work at meetings held in Paris (2000), Berlin (2000) and Tokyo (2001). We are very pleased to endorse the Recommendations for Tracing Networked Communications Across National Borders in Terrorist and Criminal Investigations. These recommendations will assist our police and national security agencies in rapidly locating and identifying criminals and terrorists who use international communication networks for illegal purposes.
6. However, in order to trace communications, traffic data must be available. We therefore also discussed the challenge of ensuring the availability of traffic data in order to improve our abilities to trace criminal and terrorist communications. As a result, we endorse a number of related documents that would assist governments in promoting the availability of critical communications data. These include Principles on the Availability of Data Essential to Protecting Public Safety, Data Preservation Checklists, and a G8 Statement on Data Protection Regimes. In developing measures to protect public safety, we are mindful of the privacy concerns of the public and the interests of communications industries.
7. We confirmed the value of the 24/7 network, established by the G8, to provide a network, of experienced contacts among participating States who are available around the clock to cooperate in high-tech criminal and terrorism investigations. We are encouraged by the progress achieved in expanding this network and we will continue to expand and strengthen it further.
8. Threats to critical national and global information infrastructures are of increasing concern, and the prospect of exploitations by terrorists is no longer unlikely. If nations adopt thoughtful, deliberate, risk-reduction strategies, the integrity of global networks and the protection of public safety will be enhanced. We have directed our officials to build on past achievements to determine what role the G8 can play in protecting national and global information infrastructures. To this end, we have asked our high-tech experts to organize a special meeting.
9. We are gratified by the successful negotiations of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and the large number of signatories. We look forward to further signatures and future ratifications so as to increase harmonization and international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime.
10. When G8 Justice and Interior Ministers met in Milan last year, Ministers considered the subject of on-line child pornography. Ministers called on their experts to explore the creation of an international database to help locate victims, and identify and apprehend perpetrators of this crime. We are pleased to note that a feasibility study which explores the technical, legal and law enforcement implications of, and appropriate safeguards for, such a database should be completed in the near future. As we agreed on the need to have this database, we are committed to its early establishment.
11. We also exchanged our grave concerns over the ways in which the Internet can pose other criminal threats to children, such as the use of the Internet to communicate with children in order to lure and exploit them for sexual purposes. We noted that the tools we have developed to trace networked communications will also be helpful in apprehending perpetrators of all crimes against children on the Internet. Building on the database project, we request our experts to implement a G8 strategy involving improved international cooperation; prevention; strengthened cooperation among law enforcement, industry, and civil society groups; public awareness; and outreach to other countries.
Considering the Convergence of Crime and Terrorism
12. We share the view that the events of September 11 underscore the importance of a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach in order to understand the links between international crime and terrorism. Such an approach will also maximize the use of domestic and international tools to combat both terrorism and crime.
13. We exchanged information concerning evidence of emerging links. We support the important research being conducted concerning the existence of common elements in both phenomena that pose a threat to our societies. In particular, we asked our experts to continue their examination into apparent and potential links between terrorism and human smuggling, travel document fraud, drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in firearms and money laundering. Concerns over the drug trade in Afghanistan were expressed, specifically the potential for creating opportunities that can be exploited by terrorist- affiliated organizations. While there may be common elements between international terrorism and crime, and some tools can be used to address both, we should nevertheless continue to distinguish between them and address them as separate threats to public safety.
14. The UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention is a landmark agreement to guide countries in developing the necessary measures to combat organized crime. We urge countries to continue their implementation of these measures.
15. We commend the work of G8 transnational crime experts in revising the original 1996 mandate of the Lyon Group (Senior Experts Group on Transnational Organized Crime). As such, we are very pleased to endorse the revised G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime. These reflect the most recent analysis of investigative techniques, laws and cooperation tools that should be developed internationally to protect our societies from transnational crime and terrorist threats. They are intended as commitments by the G8 and we commend these as inspiration to all States.
16. We reviewed our efforts to improve our mechanisms to provide international legal cooperation, and take note of the conference on Judicial Cooperation held April 5 in Paris and which allowed G8 exchange of new forms of legal cooperation and, in particular to reflect on requirements to improve the international fight against terrorism. We endorse the proposed follow-up action from this Conference and call on our legal experts to continue their work to identify and remove obstacles to combatting terrorism and transnational crime.
17. In order to achieve a comprehensive and effective global response to terrorism and transnational crime, we emphasized the importance of assisting other countries in developing their legal and law enforcement capacities to combat these threats. We exchanged information on various initiatives undertaken by G8 members to advance this goal.