From 12 to 14 September 2017, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) hosted a first ICAO Aviation security (AVSEC) symposium. Held at ICAO headquarters in Montreal, the three-day gathering promoted the work of ICAO, its Member States, and stakeholders in the area of aviation security. The symposium brought together AVSEC professionals from around the world to enhance international cooperation to address the threat posed by terrorists targeting civil aviation, by reinforcing, strengthening, and promoting the international framework of aviation security standards.
In her opening address, ICAO Secretary-General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted two key issues – the United Nations Security Council resolution 2309 (2016), and the new ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), each of which seeks to reduce the likelihood of an act of unlawful interference with civil aviation.
Resolution 2309 was unanimously adopted last September and spotlights terrorists’ continued attraction to aviation targets. It emphasizes the global interconnectedness, the need for international cooperation to address air transport security challenges, and the importance of information sharing, especially through Advance Passenger Information (API).
Dr. Liu underlined that resolution 2309 further highlights a number of steps which should be prioritized by ICAO’s Member States in order to strengthen their implementation of security-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), including forging better coordination among their related domestic departments and agencies. She also emphasized collaboration with UN entities, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Dr. Liu attended the special meeting of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and ICAO in July 2017 on Terrorist threats to civil aviation.
Mr. Jean-Philippe Morange, Senior Legal Officer with CTED, delivered a keynote speech at the symposium, focusing on the importance of understanding aviation security risks for the development and implementation of appropriate and effective policies and risk mitigation measures. Mr. Morange emphasized the critical role of ICAO in the evaluation of States’ implementation efforts regarding aviation security, ensured by ICAO’s participation in country visits conducted by the Counter-Terrorism Committee. CTED and ICAO are working together closely, and will further strengthen this collaboration, which also responds to the provisions of resolution 2309 on strengthening inter-agency cooperation, concluded Mr. Morange.
The keynote speech delivered by Jean-Philippe Morange is available here.