Caricom IMPACS, UNOCT collaborate to detect counter terrorists

Caricom IMPACS, UNOCT collaborate to detect counter terrorists

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) says it has signed with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) a Memorandum of Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding related to the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme.

In a statement on Wednesday, UNOCT said the agreements will help the 15 Caricom member-states enhance their capacity to detect the travel of terrorists and serious criminals while upholding human rights, in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

The signing took place during a virtual ceremony between the Under Secretary-General of UNOCT, Vladimir Voronkov, and acting Caricom IMPACS Executive Director Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jones.

“The agreements signed today are a symbol of the solid joint commitment of Caricom IMPACS and the Countering Terrorist Travel Program of my Office to assist Caricom countries in enhancing detection capabilities using passenger data through an 'all-of-UN' concerted effort,” Voronkov said.

“This partnership is one that is mutually beneficial to both entities,” he added. “On the one hand, it allows Caricom to receive expertise from the UN, especially in the area of data privacy legislation, and to strengthen its ability to undertake risk assessments.”

In addition, Jones said the partnership “gives Caricom the opportunity to lend its vast experience to the UN, as it continues to develop its software system to capture maritime passenger information, which Caricom has been doing for the last 14 years”.

The UN said the Countering Terrorist Travel Program, a flagship global initiative of UNOCT, assists beneficiary member-states in building their capabilities to detect and intercept terrorists and serious criminals by using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data linked to INTERPOL and other international and national databases of known and suspected terrorists and criminals.

The programme also enhances international information exchange, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), and 2482 (2019) and relevant privacy laws, the UN said.

Through a partnership with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the UN said the program “comprehensively assists beneficiary member-states in legislative, operational, transport industry engagement, and technical areas”.

The support includes the donation and deployment of the United Nations “goTravel” software system, the UN said.

It said the programme has been designed in accordance with human rights principles and United Nations policies and standards.

“Since the Caribbean Community has vast experience with the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), this partnership will also be mutually beneficial in relation to its extension to the maritime domain,” the UN said.

It said, to date, 38 beneficiary member-states have joined the CT Travel Program since its launch in May 2019.

The UN said its Countering Terrorist Travel Program is co-funded by “generous contributions” from the Netherlands, the European Union, the United States of America, Qatar, Australia, Japan and India.

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