Combating terrorism and the use of fraudulent travel documents
With most States now issuing machine-readable travel documents (MRTDs) to their citizens, these documents have become a global standard in preventing fraud and identity theft. Close to 100 States go a step further and issue electronic passports.
“Upgrading current travel documents with digital security features is a step in the right direction,” said CTED Deputy Executive Director Weixiong Chen during a visit to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). “The use of the latest technology to accurately identify travelers increases border security and limits the chance fraudulent documents are used for terrorist purposes,” Mr. Chen said.
Experts from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) joined CTED staff on 11 May at the meeting with ICAO officials in Montreal, Canada.
CTED and ICAO have been close partners in assisting Member States in the implementation of Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism, the provisions of which include border control. While MRTDs have closed gaps in this area, successful counter-terrorism efforts require that a number of tools and measures are in place.
Considering that States have different capacities to respond, the two entities have conducted assessment visits and organized workshops promoting good practices on border control and aviation security.
At the operational level, they recommend a regional approach. When States in a region share information and cooperate with each other, they can more effectively combat identity fraud and other border management risks. Providing enhanced training of law enforcement personnel at border check points can have a positive impact, as well.
Together with UNODC, CTED and ICAO also encourage Member States to ratify and implement international counter-terrorism treaties. Recent developments in this regard include the adoption of two new counter-terrorism legal instruments aimed at strengthening aviation security.