Home » Aviation, Breaking News » ICAO partners with UN anti-terrorism body on aviation security, counter-terrorism

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) have signed a new agreement to greatly enhance their cooperation and information sharing on border controls, aviation security, and counter-terrorism response consistent with a wide range of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.​

ICAO secretary general Dr. Fang Liu and assistant secretary-general and executive director of UN CTED Michèle Coninsx forged the new pact on May 17, also made in support of key UN 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 mobilize political will, to leverage expertise, optimize resources and maximize deliverables to member states,” explained 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 specialized expertise, including in the area of civil aviation,” noted Coninsx. “UN CTED will therefore continue to rely on ICAO’s support in conducting assessment visits on the Committee’s behalf.”

She added that 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 organizations 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 CTC and through the development of an Advanced Passenger Information (API) program for global aviation, CTC State assessment visits.

ICAO’s 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 Liu. “It also recognizes our shared emphasis on prioritizing more sustainable travel facilitation solutions, including travel document security, citizen identity management, and the international standardization of passenger data exchange.”

The CTED is the executive arm of the CTC, carrying out policy decisions of the committee, which in turn was formed to bolster the ability of UN member states to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions. The CTED also conducts expert assessments of each member state and facilitates counter-terrorism technical assistance to countries.

The Security Council is the United Nations’ most powerful body, with the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security.

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