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G8 Ministers of Justice and Interior Ministers' Meetings

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Meeting of G8 Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs
Paris, May 5, 2003

Presidents' Summary

1. The G8 member States' Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs plus the European Commissioner in charge of Justice and Home Affairs met May 5, 2003 in Paris (France) to review the progress made in the fight against terrorism and organised crime since their May 2002 meeting in Mont-Tremblant (Canada).

2. The Presidents have prepared the present summary of the discussions that took place during this meeting.

Evaluation of the terrorist threat

3. Terrorism continues to present both a pervasive and global threat to our societies that we have to respond to effectively and immediately. We have evaluated the terrorist threat in light of the international situation and the latest developments in the fight against Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

4.  The threat from the Al Qaida network remains serious. In spite of the elimination of most of its bases in Afghanistan, it seems that other camps have been reactivated in other areas in the zone. The organisation's abilities have been shaken by the recent arrests, but dormant individuals and cells are always ready to act.

5. These serious blows to the terrorist networks were achieved through the exchange of information between the specialised intelligence services and the strengthening  of  police  cooperation  and  mutual  legal  assistance.  We
are committed to continue and intensify this cooperation in order to thwart attempted terrorist attacks and to protect the targets most likely to be chosen by terrorists.

6. Up to now terrorists have used conventional weapons, although there is a risk that they might resort to CBRN means (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear). We must address ways to anticipate and respond to such threats.

Security measures

7. The G8 countries have already taken protective, preventive and security measures to protect critical infrastructures, foreign representatives, symbolic sites and high-risk communities.

8. Each country is responsible for adopting the protection strategies and measures based on the level of the threat and the nature of the installation concerned. We have insisted upon the critical importance of close international cooperation on these questions.

Use of biometric technologies

9. We unanimously stressed the importance of developing biometric technologies and their application in travel procedures and documents. We recognised that these new technologies open up new possibilities in the fight against the use of fraudulent documents for criminal or terrorist purposes. Consequently, they help strengthen transportation security, in accordance with the objectives set out in 2002 by the G8 Leaders.

10. We underlined that the issues relating to application of this new technology should lead us to work on developing a common framework and standards within the competent international bodies. In this spirit, the G8 contributed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) work in the form of a Declaration (G8 Roma and Lyon Groups Statement for ICAO on Biometric Applications for International Travel). The declaration identifies three guiding principles in establishing the standards: universality of standards to ensure perfect technical interoperability, urgency in implementing these technologies and technical reliability.

11.  We have decided to convene a high-level working group co-chaired by France and the United States, with a first meeting in Germany, which before the end of French Presidency shall report their recommendations on ways to develop biometric technologies, including manners of assessing their effectiveness. We ask them to work in conjunction with the Roma and Lyon groups and to take into consideration the work underway within ICAO about biometrics.

Protection of critical information infrastructures

12. Last year we underlined the threats to and attacks against our critical information infrastructures, their interdependence and the need to increase international cooperation to ensure their protection against potential terrorist attacks. To combat this threat, we need unprecedented global cooperation to protect our information infrastructures, including computer network and communication systems, and respond to terrorist and criminal threats against them.

13.  France and United States co-sponsored  a G8 conference  on the protection of critical information infrastructures, held in Paris on March 24-26, 2003. This conference was the first of its kind organized internationally and resulted in the first set of internationally agreed principles for protecting critical information infrastructures that can serve as building blocks for further global efforts in this area. We commend the work of the conference, adopt the eleven Principles and direct our High-Tech Crime experts to lead the effort to carry forward and disseminate their important work.

14.  The relationship between government and the private sector is of paramount importance in the effective investigation of cybercrime and the protection of critical information infrastructures. We ask the Roma and Lyon groups to continue their work on best practices for network security, incident investigation and the reporting of cyber attacks and encourage them to explore mechanisms to enhance the relationship between the private sector and law enforcement in these areas. We also ask them to continue their outreach, capacity building and training efforts, including  their upcoming conference in Rome on training the 24/7 High Tech Crime national current points of contact

Fight against child pornography

15.  We reaffirmed our concern in the face of the growing use of the Internet to sexually exploit children. We are determined to act with the greatest firmness against child pornography crimes. We praised the work carried out by our experts, which is in accordance with the orientations we set out in Milan (2001) and Mont-Tremblant (2002).

16.  We praised the development of a G8 strategy against sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. The strategy defines eight objectives in terms of collecting  information, identifying victims, locating suspects, legislations, police tools, cooperation with private players, prevention and international cooperation. We approve this strategy, applaud the substantial efforts already made to implement it, and ask our experts to monitor work undertaken in this area

17.  Major progress has been made on the creation of an international image database that can be used to identify victims and persons suspected of paedophile acts. The feasibility study requested by the G8 concluded that such a tool would enable police forces to more effectively combat the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet and that it can be created. Secretary General Ronald K. Noble confirmed Interpol's willingness to host this database, which should be in addition to existing national databases or the ones being created in several G8 States. Financial, technical and legal issues still need to be defined. We ask our experts to accelerate as much as possible their work on the implementation study.

Improving the effectiveness of procedures for tracing, freezing, seizing and
confiscating crime-related assets.

18.  The fight against terrorism financing must remain a priority for the international community. We are more determined than ever to take the necessary measures internally and internationally to cut off terrorists' financing sources and hinder their ability to transfer and conceal their financial assets.

19.  We praised the major progress achieved in implementing United Nations Security Council resolutions 1373 and 1455 and we commend the FATF for the work undertaken in this area. We also evoked our commitment to see the United Nations' Convention on suppression of the financing of terrorism ratified by the largest number of States and we agreed that the G8 should work actively in this direction.

20.  The internal measures to freeze assets, which were made possible by the excellent cooperation between our specialised intelligence services and police in close consultation with the judicial authorities, have effectively hindered certain terrorist activities. Now we need to go further and increase the effectiveness of judicial and police authorities' actions as part of financial investigations.

21.  Therefore, our experts have identified 29 best practice principles on tracing, freezing, seizing and confiscating crime-related assets. The principles also deal with sharing of crime-related assets between States and compensation or restitution to victims. These principles and good practices are ambitious. They cover organised crime and terrorism financing. They underline the necessary specialisation of competent authorities to handle such complex questions.

22.  We approve these 29 best practice principles and we undertake to implement the commitments they contain to apply their recommended measures. We ask our experts to continue their work in this field, in particular by identifying the best way to implement the best practice principles throughout the international community.

Special investigative techniques:

23.  The development of judicial and police cooperation is essential to effectively combat transnational organised crime. The G8 countries recognise the need to promote special investigative techniques that can be used to pursue complex investigations.  In many cases, a coordinated response is required.

24. We encourage our experts to continue their work in order to identify the obstacles to international judicial and police cooperation and the means to remedy the situation.

Sharing of DNA information between States:

25.  The recourse to DNA analyses constitutes a major innovation that has been used over the past few years to make progress on and resolve difficult  criminal investigations. Most G8 countries already have comprehensive legislations that allow this analytical tool to be used in a wide range of offences.

26.  The use and sharing of DNA information between countries constitutes fundamental progress in the fight against all forms of serious crime. We want to increase such sharing to enhance States' capacity to collect and use such information and cooperate internationally, to increase the effectiveness of judicial cooperation. We approve our experts' statement of principles concerning the use and sharing of DNA information and ask our experts to promote the implementation of the recommended measures.

Future work of the Roma and Lyon groups

27.  Beyond these subjects, we also exchanged ideas about future work for the Roma and Lyon groups. The future G8 presidency presented the themes that it believes are priorities for the groups, in particular urgent examination of further ways and means for preventing terrorist acts, such as through global outreach and capacity building efforts, and examination of ways to facilitate protection of critical information infrastructures, enhanced law enforcement capabilities to address conduct prior to a completed attack, sharing of information between security and law enforcement authorities, and sharing of information to prevent our asylum and immigration processes from abuse. Future Roma and Lyon Group work should be aimed at establishing strong operationally useful mechanisms to complement our existing cooperative frameworks.

28.  Furthermore, we ask the Roma and Lyon groups to examine the proposals made by Germany regarding common measures governing the use of joint document advisers and of armed sky marshals and to report back before the end of 2003.

29.  We ask the heads of the Roma and Lyon groups delegations to consider these orientations when they establish their priority actions, in accordance with the reform adopted by the Sherpas.

We are determined to remain mobilised and united in the face of global threats from terrorism and organised crime against our citizens' security. This includes distributing the results of our work and providing technical assistance to third party countries.

Source: Ministre de l’Intérieur, France. Updated June 9, 2003.

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