On Tuesday, during a ceremony that side-lined ICAO’s Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Symposium which is taking place at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal from 15 to 17 November, ICAO and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize closer collaboration on priorities that include enhanced global mobility and traveller identity management.
MOU signatory Dr. Fang Liu, ICAO’s Secretary General, indicated that the new agreement would “serve to raise awareness on the close connection between aviation, migratory movements, and border management and facilitation, and that it was fully consistent with ICAO’s responsibility to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation, including the adoption of international standards for customs and immigration documents and procedures.”
IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing said “The management of borders, travel facilitation and security, and in particular travel document security as well as identity management are of great importance for all international travelers and among them, of course, migrants and refugees who cross international borders. Strengthened close cooperation between ICAO and IOM is a much welcome step forward.”
The new agreement will assist both global agencies to respond in a coordinated way to new and emerging challenges such as security requirements, accessibility to safe transport modes for migrants and refugees, increased international cross border mobility, health challenges linked to international mobility, as well as security and facilitation in global air travel.
ICAO and IOM recognize their shared interest in sustainable improvements in the field of travel facilitation including the security of travel documents and related identity management challenges, highly relevant topics for the efficiency of global civil aviation and effective border and migration management.
Moving forward, IOM will participate as an observer in ICAO’s Technical Advisory Group on the Traveller Identification Programme (TAG/TRIP), as a member of the ICAO TRIP Implementation and Capacity Building Working Group (ICBWG) and New Technologies Working Group (NTWG), as well as on any new ICAO deliberative bodies relevant to its mandate.
Cooperation will also be intensified toward enhanced support to States regarding travel documents and related border and identity management challenges, harmonizing passenger data exchange programmes and in promoting data-driven security. The agreement will also ensure more integrated identity and border management programmes, the mobility of migrants, resettlement of refugees as well as voluntary returns via air, support to both stateless and other persons, travel health assistance, pandemic management and other travel health related emergencies.