Global nature of aviation puts "everyone" at same terror risk: ICAO chief

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Fang Liu, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), addresses the Security Council last September. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The global nature of the aviation industry puts "everyone at the same level of risk" from potential terrorist attack.

That's the warning from the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Fang Liu, delivered to a special meeting of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee on Friday.

Matt Wells reports.

The meeting on "Terrorist Threats to Civil Aviation" was convened to enable the Counter-Terrorism Committee to hear from Member States and relevant international and regional organizations on what's become a growing problem.

Recent attacks on airports in Belgium, Turkey and the United States, together with the explosion of a terrorist bomb on board a Russian airliner in Egypt, have exposed cracks in the security of the entire industry.

The committee executive highlighted problems of "porous airport perimeters" and cyber-intrusion that needed attention by Member States.

In September last year, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution for the first time, calling for closer collaboration to safeguard passengers and air services, and help prevent increasingly sophisticated attempts by terrorists to launch attacks.

The ICAO chief, Fang Liu, said more action in support of that resolution was needed.

"The integrated nature of global aviation puts everyone at the same level of risk. Terrorism is not someone else's problem; states and industry, must commit the necessary resources and provide effective governance. Strengthened national will has a cascading effect on all aspects of Security Council resolution 2309 (2016) implementation."

She added that under ICAO, "extensive progress" had been made since last September, including the updating of the organization's Global Risk Context Statement.

She said airport security, explosive detection and cyber-security standards had all been improved, and the rules for cargo security, enhanced.

She said a new ICAO-backed agreement last month, obliges all Member States to adopt a new Advanced Passenger Information system, to help detect possible terrorists, and improve travel conditions for low-risk fliers. 

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'45"

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