On 17 May 2018, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Michèle Coninsx, attended a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Transport and Unlawful Interference Committees in Montreal.
In her statement, Ms. Coninsx emphasized that many States continue to face significant challenges in their efforts to strengthen their borders against the threat posed by terrorists and terrorist groups. In its resolution 2309 (2016), the Security Council identified steps to be taken by Member States to strengthen their implementation of the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of ICAO.
In order to effectively inspect travellers at airports, a combination of mechanisms should be in place. They include Advance Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Records (PNR), biometric technologies, and access to watch lists and the INTERPOL database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD). In accordance with Security Council resolution 2309 (2016), CTED engages with Member States on the particular concern that terrorist groups may be actively seeking ways to defeat or circumvent international civil aviation security measures and to identify and exploit perceived gaps or weaknesses. Ms. Coninsx referred to the requirements of Security Council resolution 2396 (2017) and the urgent need to strengthen the sharing of information by airlines and Governments on API and PNR systems.
Ms. Coninsx commended the cooperation between CTED and ICAO, which includes the participation of ICAO experts, not only in country visits of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, but also in its special meetings and open briefings, as well as in various CTED activities. The latter include initiatives pertaining to border management, travel documents, security, and the facilitation of technical assistance. These issues are also addressed within the framework of the Working Group of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) on Border Management and Law Enforcement, which is chaired by CTED. Additionally, CTED fully supports the implementation of tools and instruments developed by ICAO, such as the ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan.
In the framework of the meeting, Ms. Coninsx and ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu signed an arrangement on cooperation between CTED and ICAO. The objective is to further strengthen and enhance cooperation and information-sharing relating to border management, aviation security, and counter-terrorism, with a view to enhance the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions. The arrangement represents a basis for future cooperation, but also recognizes joint achievements. Furthermore, the arrangement aims to leverage expertise, optimize resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and maximize deliverables to Member States.
The arrangement will be followed by a joint action plan, and build upon past cooperation initiatives between the two entities.