States endorsed a wide range of security- and facilitation-related topics at the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly this year, reflecting both their long-term objectives and their broad support for a new Declaration on Aviation Security – affirming global commitment to strengthening implementation.
States also welcomed and endorsed the ICAO Cybersecurity strategy for the air transport sector, a first-of-its-kind response which features key goals relating to information sharing, improved coordination among all partnering government and enforcement entities, and timely and aligned responses to related risks and events.
They further endorsed ICAO’s expeditious delivery of the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), with over 160 States participating in the lively discussions, and supported the ICAO Secretariat’s initiative to establish a mechanism for reporting implementation progress, which is critical in encouraging all States to reach the GASeP aspirational targets for 2020, 2023, and 2030.
“ICAO is very grateful to have received such a strong endorsement of the GASeP, and to be reassured once again that the accelerated development and implementation of this important global resource is meeting the expectations of States, counter-terrorism agencies, and international enforcement stakeholders,” underscored ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu.
Further Security and Facilitation developments included States’ endorsement of ICAO’s continuing work on passport and border control modernization, and identity-related infrastructure, under its Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Strategy.
States additionally supported the recommendation that governmental authorities worldwide should join the ICAO Public Key Directory to boost their ePassport security.
There was also clear agreement that ICAO should increase its outreach to States on the implementation of Advance Passenger Information (API) systems, in line with United Nations Security Council resolution 2396 (2017).
The Assembly adopted a new resolution on the development and implementation of facilitation provisions to combat human trafficking that, inter alia, urged States to implement the relevant Annex 9 provisions on the matter, and to use ICAO’s guidance material developed to assist States.
“We were also very grateful to see the Assembly’s support for the progress made in the implementation of the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Security and Facilitation in Africa,” Dr. Liu added, “and that our Member States emphasized the importance of establishing regional mechanisms to address aviation security and facilitation challenges in Africa.”
Lastly, the Assembly endorsed the continued addressing by ICAO of the recommendations that emerged from the Second High-level Conference on Aviation Security convened in 2018. Attention was focused on countering the insider threat, furthering the work on Cybersecurity governance, achieving the national targets reflected in the GASeP, completing a comprehensive review of the Universal Security Audit Programme, and other aviation security priorities.