ICAO, with the support of the Government of Mozambique, will hold a Regional Seminar on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs), Biometrics and Security Standards on 24 to 26 November 2010 in Maputo, Mozambique, at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre.
This important event will address ICAO MRTD specifications, identity management norms and related border security issues with focus on Africa and the Middle East. The final day will be devoted to capacity-building challenges with particular reference to travel document and border security gaps in the region, which could be assisted by the international community through technical cooperation projects.
A select group of Industry Partners will complement the Seminar, displaying a broad range of products and services related to MRTDs, biometric identification, travel document security applications and border inspection systems.
MRTDs in the context of evolving global security environment
ICAO develops specifications for passports and other travel documents to ensure interoperability, promote enhanced facilitation, increase confidence in the reliability of travel documents, and contribute to national and international security. ICAO-compliant secure travel documents and a robust identity management regime are powerful tools in preventing and combating terrorism and serious transnational crime. However, remaining weaknesses in identity management or travel document security flaws tend to be exploited by terrorists and criminals worldwide and present a weak link in global efforts to ensure security, stability, good governance and the rule of law.
A key finding from the 9/11 Commission Report was that “for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.” The issuance and integrity of travel documents, border security and identity management remain an important and integral part of global counter-terrorism capacity-building efforts in furthering the objectives of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001).
In addition to the “traditional” capacity gaps, new capacity building needs have been emerging, calling for closer integration between identity management, border security and aviation security. The failed Denver terror plot of 25 December 2009 has demonstrated the limitations of narrowly-defined aviation security.
Hence the need to redefine the security vision fundamentally moving to a comprehensive intelligence-led security approach, that would integrate and enhance current aviation security screening practices with national and border security solutions, based on effective data sharing and national and international inter-agency cooperation. Effective national and international security is indivisible and requires a comprehensive and all-inclusive system that is built on global harmonization, effective information exchange, industry-government cooperation, risk assessment and efficient technology that will assist authorities to take action.
Who Should Attend
The Seminar will be of particular interest to officials from national identity and travel document issuance authorities, passport offices, immigration, customs and other border inspection and law enforcement agencies; Ministries of Interior, National Security and Foreign Affairs, as well as embassy Consular staff. Other key stakeholders include private companies offering technologies and products for effective international identity and border management, airlines and airport authorities, security and facilitation consultants, academia and think tanks.