ICAO’s Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, delivered a strong message to the participants of the ICAO TRIP Seminar in Hong Kong, China, on how robust ID management frameworks provide a critical foundation for secure and efficient travel document and border control solutions.
“Through ICAO’s standards, our Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) strategy harmonizes the global line of defence in our shared battle to confront international terrorist movements, cross-border crime, and many other threats to civil society and international aviation,” Dr. Liu stressed.
The ICAO TRIP strategy has been recognized as critical in aviation security especially at combatting foreign terrorist fighters, with a special focus on effective border control management, as reflected in United Nations (UN) Security Council (SC) Resolutions 2178 and 2309, which were adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Having attended a special meeting of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) on “Terrorist Threats to Civil Aviation” last week, Dr. Liu advised the Hong Kong audience that the special meeting had considered relevant gaps and vulnerabilities and discussed possible instruments and tools to further support ICAO-compliant border control management systems. “We will continue to explore new means of addressing the terrorist threat through various ICAO TRIP elements”, Dr. Liu remarked.” The ICAO Secretary General stressed the importance of cooperation in implementing the TRIP strategy. “ICAO works closely with many leading organizations. We encourage States to come together at the regional and sub-regional levels to agree on action plans, and to coordinate efforts aimed at rectifying aviation security and facilitation deficiencies in a robust, affordable and sustainable manner,” She commented.
The Hong Kong TRIP Seminar was hosted by the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong with additional support from Hong Kong International Airport. It gathered some 196 participants from 37 countries and ten international organizations, and addressed the five elements of the ICAO TRIP Strategy, including: machine readable travel document (MRTD) standards; specifications and best practices; secure travel document issuance; robust evidence of identity processes; and information sharing technologies.
Dr. Liu concluded her address by inviting all present to join ICAO at its the Thirteenth ICAO TRIP Symposium and Exhibition this October. Conducted at the UN agency’s Headquarters in Montreal, TRIP Symposiums are the pre-eminent travel document and border control gathering for global experts and governments seeking to enhance the security and efficiency of all passport, visa and customs processing solutions.
While in Hong Kong, Dr. Liu met with Mrs. Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR). She also met with Secretary and Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing, Messrs. Frank Chan and Joseph Lai, the Director-General of Civil Aviation of HK SAR, Mr. Simon Li, as well as industry leaders of Hong Kong SAR. The respective discussions centred mainly around the pressing need for aviation infrastructure and skilled human resources development in the region, in order to safely and securely manage the projected growth in the Asia/Pacific region.