European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Roadmap Endorsed
|ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu welcomed the endorsement today of a European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Aviation Security Roadmap, one which will now align respective national and regional programmes and targets with the UN aviation agency’s new Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).
In her address to the ICAO Regional Aviation Security Conference, hosted by Portugal, in Lisbon, Dr. Liu stressed that ICAO’s new GASeP sets out key priorities where ICAO, States, and other agencies should now focus their urgent attention.
“The GASeP includes an ambitious framework for enhancing international aviation security over the coming years, and through the 32 actions and 94 tasks identified in its Roadmap, the aviation security community will now be much better prepared and more effectively aligned with UN Security Council Resolution 2309 on counter-terrorism,” she underscored. “And while very ambitious in some respects, these targets and dates are also fully achievable.”
The main outcome being sought at the Lisbon conference was the fine-tuning of a Regional GASeP Roadmap specific to the EUR/NAT Region. Secretary General Liu praised the related commitments which were ultimately realized, and noted that they were a critical first step which ICAO is seeing emulated worldwide.
She also noted that the new GASeP Roadmap would entail some important and fairly significant work ahead for a number of EUR/NAT States, and called on them “to be open to accepting assistance to enhance their local effective implementation, whether it involves training, technology, or mentoring,” and to seek to ensure that any solutions set out are fully sustainable.
Highlighting ICAO’s Regional Aviation Security Coordination Forums, Dr. Liu reiterated that ICAO will continue to help coordinate assistance and capacity building activities between donor and partner States, and organizations and recipient States, consistent with its ongoing No Country Left Behind initiative.
She also stressed that ICAO would make further progress on GASeP at its coming AVSEC2018 Symposium and the second ICAO High-Level Conference on Aviation Security in Montréal this November, and that the commitments now being made by EUR/NAT States remain critical to the wide ranging objectives and priorities now being undertaken in the Security domain through ICAO.
“It will only be by virtue of sustained political will, especially at the highest levels of government and industry, that the Global Aviation Security Plan will succeed in its ambitious mandate,” she concluded.
The Lisbon Conference was attended by Mr. Pedro Marques, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure of Portugal. Minister Marques and Dr. Liu also held bilateral discussions on the key role of international civil aviation as an enabler for socio-economic development and the importance of States being ICAO compliant to realize these benefits, especially through greater cooperation between themselves and ICAO. Minister Marques appreciated Dr. Liu’s views and ensured that Portugal would seek to align its technical cooperation programme with the ICAO No Country Left Behind assistance and capacity-building global Initiative.
Additional discussions surrounding similar themes, notably forecast air transport growth, related aviation infrastructure needs, and the benefits to be seen when States incorporate their aviation development requirements into their national planning strategies, were also held with the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mrs. Teresa Ribeiro, and with the President of the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), Mr. Luís Ribeiro, and with the ANAC Board.
Dr. Liu was accompanied throughout her trip to Lisbon by Mr. Luis Fonseca de Almeida, Director of ICAO’s EUR/NAT Regional Office. The Lisbon Conference was attended by 218 delegates representing 41 Member States and 11 International Organizations.