in Aerospace / Security

ICAO and UN CTED strengthen border control, aviation security and counter-terrorism cooperation

Posted 22 May 2018 · Add Comment

ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu and the Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED), Ms Michèle Coninsx, took an important step to address international terrorist threats.



​Above: ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu (left) and the Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, (UN CTED) Ms Michèle Coninsx (right), signed a new agreement which will greatly enhance their agencies’ cooperation and information sharing relating to border controls, aviation security and counter-terrorism response consistent with a wide range of UN Security Council resolutions.​

The two leaders met in Montréal last week to sign a new agreement which will now greatly strengthen and enhance their agencies’ cooperation and information sharing relating to border controls, aviation security and counter-terrorism, and which will support key United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding international priorities for aligned counter-terrorism response.

“This new agreement directly supports UN Security Council resolution 2309 and aligns with the ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP). It enables us to cooperate to mobilise political will, to leverage expertise, optimise resources and maximise deliverables to Member States,” explained ICAO Secretary General Liu. “Together we will pursue to strengthen Member States’ capacity and promote a more widespread culture of collective responsibility and effective, collaborative responses to international terrorist threats, while at the same time continuing to simplify and streamline travel clearances for our network’s vast majority of legitimate low risk passengers.”

“Cooperation with ICAO is vital to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (UN CTC) and UN CTED. This new agreement not only supports UN Security Council Resolution 2309, but also efficiently addresses others including UNSC resolutions 2341, 2395 and 2396. CTC visits are becoming more complex and, in some cases, more focused on certain thematic areas. As a result, they increasingly require specialised expertise, including in the area of civil aviation,” noted Ms Coninsx. “UN CTED will therefore continue to rely on ICAO’s support in conducting assessment visits on the Committee’s behalf. The CTC and CTED will continue to support the work of ICAO in coherence with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT) and UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact and promote the implementation of its Standards and Recommended Practices, whether in the Security Council or in our interaction with regional and sub-regional organisations and Member States.”

The new ICAO-UN CTED agreement will be followed by a joint action plan and build upon past cooperation initiatives between the two UN entities, mainly being pursued at present under the aegis of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (UN CTC) and through the development of an Advanced Passenger Information (API) programme for global aviation, CTC State assessment visits.

ICAO’s Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), developed and issued at the end of 2017, has already begun to assist this process and its objectives will now be bolstered by the new cooperation parameters being set out.

“This new agreement will greatly assist our agencies’ efforts to respond in a coordinated way to new and emerging challenges, such as evolving security requirements and increased international mobility,” concluded Dr. Liu. “It also recognises our shared emphasis on prioritizing more sustainable travel facilitation solutions, including travel document security, citizen identity management, and the international standardisation of passenger data exchange.”

The agreement follows another important step taken at the beginning of the month to bolster global efforts targeting international terrorism and transnational crime, when Dr Fang Liu and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Yury Fedotov, met in London to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will now greatly enhance their cooperation and information sharing on security priorities relating to border control, law enforcement and criminal justice.



Above: ​ICAO Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Yury Fedotov, signed a new agreement in London at the beginning of May, to enhance their agencies’ joint support for States on aviation security, and on the combatting of transnational crime and terrorism related issues.


“One of the main priorities to be achieved through this MoU is to improve the scope and effectiveness of current responses safeguarding aviation against terrorism and acts of unlawful interference, illicit trafficking, and other security threats,” explained ICAO Secretary General Liu, who was accompanied throughout her London mission by Mr Sylvain Lefoyer, ICAO Deputy Director of Aviation Security and Facilitation.

“To do so, it’s essential that ICAO and the UNODC promote a more widespread culture of collective responsibility and effective, collaborative responses to these types of threats, while at the same time continuing to simplify and streamline travel clearances for our network’s vast majority of legitimate passengers,” she emphasised.

“The partnership between UNODC and ICAO can help to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement agencies, working at airports in source, transit and destination countries, to detect and intercept drugs, illicit goods and criminals,” noted Mr Fedotov. “This is vital as traffickers and high-risk passengers seek to exploit new transportation modes for criminal activities, and ever-increasing passenger numbers and growing connectivity present new challenges in countering the shipment of drugs and other illegal goods, whether on passengers, in luggage, through air cargo, by private aircraft or by parcel post and express.”

The new ICAO-UNODC MoU will build upon past cooperation initiatives between the two UN agencies, which have been working very closely and successfully together under the aegis of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee to develop the Advanced Passenger Information (API) programme and related guidelines. ICAO sets the international standards for API, and the programme also has practical implications for the UNODC’s Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), which is pursued in partnership with World Custom Organization (WCO) and the International Police Organization (INTERPOL).

The new agreement is expected to bolster the agencies’ efforts to respond in a coordinated way to new and emerging challenges, such as evolving security requirements and increased international mobility. It also recognises their shared priorities towards more sustainable travel facilitation solutions, including travel document security, citizen identity management, and the international standardisation of passenger data exchange.

 

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