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ICAO, with the support of the Government of Sint Maarten, held a Regional Seminar on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs), Biometrics and Identification Management in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, West Indies, from 9 to 11 July 2013.
The MRTD Regional Seminar purpose is to assist Member States in North American, Central American and Caribbean Regions in implementing ICAO machine readable travel document specifications and related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. The Seminar specifically addressed 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 Sint Maarten MRTD Regional Seminar focused on the very foundation of travel document and border security: a robust national identification management system. Seminar presentations and discussions explored in depth key components of identification management, including the role of civil registries, evidence of identification (EoI), social footprint and investigative methods of confirming it, manufacturing and personalization of national ID cards, data sharing between national agencies involved in identification management, and much more.
An industry exhibition complemented 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 had an opportunity to interact with ICAO industry partners and experts to discuss the latest available MRTD 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 identity 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 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 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 more information, please contact:
Phone: +1 514-954-8219, extension 6329 or 6056
Fax: +1 514-954-5061