ICAO, with the support of the National Agency of Civil Aviation of Burkina Faso, will hold a Regional Seminar on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs) and Traveller Identification Management on 12-14 November 2013 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The MRTD Regional Seminar will assist Member States in the African continent in implementing ICAO machine readable travel document specifications and related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. The Seminar will specifically address the needs of States to further enhance the integrity of the passport issuance process and ensure robust identification management in order to maximize border security and facilitation benefits.
In particular, the MRTD Regional Seminar will focus on the proposed ICAO Traveller Identification Programme (ICAO TRIP) Strategy which, already endorsed by the Council, will be presented to the ICAO Assembly in September-October 2013. The Strategy, responding to the global driving forces and needs of Member States, provides a framework for achieving the maximum benefits of travel documents in the future. It brings together the elements of identification management and builds on ICAO leadership in matters related to Machine Readable Travel Documents.
The key point of the ICAO TRIP Strategy is a recognized need for a holistic and integrated approach to traveller identification management. The approach that links the five elements of traveller identification and border controls into a coherent framework: evidence of identification, document issuance and control, MRTDs, inspection systems and tools, and interoperable applications.
ICAO recognizes the benefits of traveller identification management to aviation security and facilitation. ICAO’s mission is to contribute to the capacity of Member States to uniquely identify individuals by providing tools and knowledge to establish and confirm the identity of travellers.
Another focus of the Regional Seminar in Burkina Faso is technical assistance and capacity building support to States in need. The TRIP Strategy, ambitious and relevant as it is, will bring results and benefits only if ICAO Member States implement it in practice. In many cases, challenges to implementation are lack of technical expertise or funding or both. The Seminar is an opportunity to discuss their assistance needs with countries and regional organizations from the African continent and explore together ways for mobilising more effective capacity-building assistance.
An industry exhibition will complement the Seminar with a broad range of products and services related to MRTDs, biometric identification, travel document security applications and border inspection systems. Seminar participants will have an opportunity to interact with ICAO industry partners and experts to discuss the latest available traveller identification technologies.
ICAO develops international specifications for passports, visas and ID cards used for travel, in order to ensure interoperability, enhance facilitation, increase confidence in the reliability of travel documents, and contribute to national and international security. ICAO-compliant secure travel documents - and a robust identification management regime - are powerful tools in preventing and combating terrorism and serious transnational crime. Any 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 in 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 identification 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).
As usual, MRTD Seminar speakers and facilitators include top experts in the field, policy makers and senior managers, practitioners and researchers, many from the relevant working groups of ICAO, ISO and other international organizations.
For details please see the Programme link.
Who Should Attend
The MRTD Regional Seminar will be of particular interest to government officials from national identity and travel document issuance authorities, civil registries, passport offices, immigration, customs and other border inspection and law enforcement agencies; Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, as well as embassy Consular staff. Other key stakeholders include international organizations, donor agencies, 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.