UN wants tighter se­cu­rity for planes, air­ports

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - – AP

THE UNITED Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion yes­ter­day call­ing for stepped-up screen­ing and se­cu­rity checks at air­ports world­wide to “de­tect and de­ter ter­ror­ist at­tacks” on civil avi­a­tion.

The res­o­lu­tion calls on all coun­tries to tighten se­cu­rity at air­port build­ings, share in­for­ma­tion about pos­si­ble threats, and pro­vide ad­vance pas­sen­ger lists to na­tional au­thor­i­ties “to de­tect ... at­tempted en­try into or tran­sit through their ter­ri­to­ries.”

It is the first res­o­lu­tion by the UN’s most pow­er­ful body solely fo­cused on avi­a­tion se­cu­rity, an is­sue of grow­ing in­ter­na­tional con­cern fol­low­ing at­tacks on air­planes and air­ports from Ukraine and Egypt to Brus­sels and Is­tan­bul.

The Bri­tish-drafted res­o­lu­tion ex­presses the coun­cil’s con­cern “that ter­ror­ist groups con­tinue to view civil avi­a­tion as an at­trac­tive tar­get, with the aim of caus­ing sub­stan­tial loss of life, eco­nomic dam­age” and air links be­tween coun­tries.

Fang Liu, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ICAO), told the coun­cil be­fore the vote that there are cur­rently over 100,000 daily flights car­ry­ing 10 mil­lion trav­ellers, which adds up to 3.5 bil­lion pas­sen­gers per year plus “onethird of the world’s trade by value” car­ried by planes.

UN­LAW­FUL IN­TER­FER­ENCE

She stressed that “the world­wide air­trans­port net­work will dou­ble its vol­ume of flights and pas­sen­gers by 2030”, which makes the pro­tec­tion of civil avi­a­tion from “acts of un­law­ful in­ter­fer­ence” one of the ICAO’s high­est priorities.

Deadly sui­cide bomb­ings this year at air­ports in Brus­sels and Is­tan­bul are “a tragic re­minder of the enor­mous chal­lenges faces in se­cu­rity pub­lic ar­eas, the in­sep­a­ra­bil­ity of avi­a­tion se­cu­rity and na­tional se­cu­rity, and of the sig­nif­i­cant so­cio-eco­nomic con­se­quences of ter­ror­ism,” Liu said.

Fol­low­ing those at­tacks, she said the ICAO de­vel­oped new pro­pos­als aimed at en­hanc­ing se­cu­rity at air­port fa­cil­i­ties ex­pected to be adopted by the agency’s gov­ern­ing coun­cil at a meet­ing in Novem­ber. From 2017-19, ICAO will be de­vel­op­ing a new Global Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity Plan and among its goals are to pro­vide greater tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to coun­tries and “ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man re­sources”.

While im­ple­men­ta­tion of cur­rent avi­a­tion se­cu­rity stan­dards are steadily im­prov­ing both glob­ally and re­gion­ally, Liu ticked off a list of threats that need ur­gent at­ten­tion.

They in­clude small weapons car­ried by pas­sen­gers, home-made bombs con­cealed in bag­gage and cargo, shoul­der­fired ground-to-air mis­siles, se­cu­rity on the ground, cy­ber­se­cu­rity, drones and in­sider threats.

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