AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST STATES AGREE ON AVIATION SECURITY ROADMAP

Aviation Ministers in African and Middle Eastern countries, during a high level ministerial conference on aviation security held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, endorsed a new African and Middle East Aviation Security Roadmap that aligns future programmes and targets with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) new Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).

The key priorities of the AFI and MID AVSEC Roadmap include the enhancement of risk awareness and assessment, development of security culture and development of human capability in Aviation Security. Others include the improvement of technological resources and encouragement of innovation, improvement of oversight and quality control and the increase in regional cooperation and support. Most of these priorities are derived from GASeP.

ICAO Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, stresses that ICAO's new Global Aviation Security Plan sets out key priorities where ICAO, States, and others should now focus their urgent attention, resources and efforts, as well as corresponding actions at the global, national and local levels. He adds that the GASeP provides an ambitious framework while incorporating key themes from United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2309, on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts via aviation security, adopted in September 2016

The Minister of Civil Aviation for Egypt His Excellency Sherif Fathi, remarks that the Roadmap, aligned with the GASeP, takes into consideration the AVSEC Declarations endorsed in the AFI and MID Regions, such as the Windhoek Declaration on Aviation Security and Facilitation, the Riyadh Declaration on Aviation Security and Facilitation, and the Dubai Declaration on Cyber Security.

Minister Fathi says: "The main objective of the AFI and MID AVSEC Roadmap is to assist and encourage AFI and MID States and stakeholders to work collaboratively towards effective implementation of agreed actions/tasks to achieve the objectives of the GASeP. The AFI and MID AVSEC Roadmap would bring the States and stakeholders in a holistic and coordinated effort to strengthen regional and inter-regional collaboration in aviation security."

"A strengthened aviation system would provide a conducive environment for economic growth and development in the AFI and MID States," concludes Minister Fathi.

Some of the highpoints of the Meeting include agreement by the ministers that the key priorities of the African and Middle East Aviation Security Roadmap be reviewed and updated in a coordinated manner by the relevant Regional AVSEC Facilitator (FAL) Groups, through the ICAO Regional Offices, taking into account specific regional existing and emerging aviation security threats, as well as the GASeP and its future amendments.

Also taking into consideration the provisions of the Declarations and the available resources of States, it was established that the relevant Regional AVSEC/FAL Groups, should develop detailed Action Plans to ensure the effective implementation of the Roadmap.

In support of the ICAO "No Country Left Behind" initiative, it was decided that States should endeavour to provide assistance in implementing the Roadmap, as necessary, to other States in need and implement the relevant actions in a prioritized manner while considering their greatest areas of risk. Minister Fathi reveals that in order to assist with this prioritization, States may obtain information from the ICAO Global Risk Context Statement, ICAO USAP audit results, and feedback from the Regional Offices accredited to AFI and MID States.

He adds that the relevant Regional AVSEC/FAL Groups will work with the ICAO Regional Offices accredited to the AFI and MID States to collaborate with their States, international and regional Organizations, and industry stakeholders to monitor, support and provide periodic progress reports to the relevant bodies on the effective implementation of the Roadmap.

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