UNODC and ICAO sign partnership to strengthen airport security against crime, terrorist threats

The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, and the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Fang Liu, signed a memorandum of understanding today to enhance the security of international air transport systems to counter transnational organized criminal networks and terrorist groups, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website.

“The partnership between UNODC and ICAO can help to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement agencies working at airports in source, transit and destination countries to detect and intercept drugs, illicit goods and criminals,” said Mr. Fedotov.

The ICAO Secretary General, Fang Liu, said: “Supporting the implementation of practices and procedures to safeguard aviation against acts of unlawful interference, in addition to misuse from illicit trafficking, security threats, and terrorism, is one of the main priorities to be achieved through this MoU. It’s essential that we promote a culture of collective responsibility and more effective and collaborative responses to these types of threats, while facilitating travel clearances for low-risk passengers.”

The aim of the memorandum is to develop a joint operational framework to allow greater coordination on programmes and activities, focusing on both passenger and cargo transport.

This includes work with ICAO through the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme-Air (CCP-Air) initiative. By employing methodology developed for land and seaports, CCP-Air helps to prevent the misuse of the international air transport system by establishing inter-agency units at airports to identify high-risk shipments. CCP-Air is currently active in 10 countries.