Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman today urged all States to share responsibility in meeting the terrorist threat to transport, and emphasised the importance of international co-operation and lesson-sharing in building the capabilities of all States to counter the threat.

Dr Ladyman was speaking at a Ministerial Conference on International Transport Security in Tokyo, where he addressed sessions on maritime, aviation and land transport security. He said:

"The UK's transport security arrangements have developed over time, through long experience and in the light of lessons learned from such painful events as Lockerbie and, much more recently, the attacks on public transport in London.

"We have always sought to share our learning and experience with others, and of course to learn from them in turn. The Conference is a valuable opportunity to compare perspectives with key international partners on the nature of the threat to transport and on how it can best be countered. I am therefore very pleased to participate in this Conference, and grateful to the Japanese Government for the opportunity to do so."

Dr Ladyman underlined the need for security which is robust but also practical and sustainable. He emphasised the need for each State to ensure that its relevant Government agencies pool their information and expertise, in order to understand and respond effectively to the terrorist threat.

A key theme of the conference was the importance of States sharing experience and best practice. A number of Ministers commented on the value they attached to the help given to them by the UK, especially since July 7th.

Commenting on present security arrangements, Dr Ladyman said:

"Very real progress has been made in recent years to make international transport by air, sea and rail more secure. The Conference has paid proper recognition to the work of all involved, whether in industry, in government, or in international organisations such as ICAO and IMO.

"But we must not lower our guard. The threat remains a real one, and worldwide, new threats and challenges continue to emerge. The responsibility for meeting them is something that must be shared by all States. We in the UK will continue to play our full part in this critically important work.

"The Ministerial declarations agreed at this conference take us a step closer to the level of international cooperation that we need to meet these challenges."