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Africa Joint Declaration on Aviation Security

In order to exchange views on the challenges, threats and opportunities in civil aviation security and to review the mechanisms that strengthen international measures and standards on this matter, we Ministers and high-level officials from States and regional and international organizations listed in the Annex met in Abuja on 12 and 13 April 2010 and affirmed our commitment to prevent unlawful interference with civil aviation in all its forms, with particular attention to countering terrorist threats against civil aviation. We reaffirmed the need to enhance international aviation security standards and measures in order to respond more effectively to new and emerging threats. The Conference issued this joint declaration:

  1. The air transportation system, aviation security and the industry's well-being constitute a global good and a shared responsibility of the international community, due to their strategic relevance for national security, societies and economies of all countries in the world;

  2. Civil aviation security threats pose a common risk to aviation activity and particularly to passengers' ease of mobility and physical security. Passenger and cargo security, as well as their ease of mobility, are important to the ongoing development of our economies;

  3. We recommend that States, in coordination with ICAO, establish, approve· and implement procedures, mechanisms and cooperative actions which, pursuant to international law, including the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), and domestic law, strengthen their capacities to assess and face civil aviation security threats and risks, thereby facilitating legitimate passenger and air cargo flows;

  4. Individually, governments pursuant to their laws, regulations and domestic programs on civil aviation security, and according to the standards and recommended practices of ICAO, will seek to promote, taking into consideration the capacity of each State, the implementation of measures to:
    1. Strengthen and promote, as appropriate for each State, breeder and travel document security, passenger screening procedures, biometric information, and the commitment to report, on a regular basis, lost and stolen passports, to the extent possible, to the INTERPOL Lost and Stolen Travel Document Database;

    2. Broaden existing cooperation mechanisms among our countries and with other parties to the Chicago Convention, and the civil aviation industry, for information exchange and early detection of security threats to passenger security and the industry's well-being;

    3. Share best practices in a range of areas related to civil aviation, such as document security and fraud detection, screening and inspection techniques, airport security, behavioural detection, passenger targeting analysis, and screening and credentialing of airport employees; and

    4. Utilize modern technologies to detect prohibited materials and to prevent the carriage of such materials on board aircraft;

  5. In the international context, we aim to systematically collaborate within ICAO to promote the objectives of this declaration. To this end, we support the work of ICAO with a view to convene both international expert and intergovernmental meetings to agree upon actions in the following fields:
    1. Security:
      • Develop strategies to address threats and risks in the field of civil aviation security;
      • Strengthen domestic and international civil aviation security standards, including Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention;
      • Transmit in a timely manner passengers' information prior to takeoff to effectively support screening at destination airport, while preserving their individual rights, as well as develop and improve compatible systems for the collection and use of advance passenger information (API) and passenger name record (PNR) information; and
      • Study, develop and strengthen, as appropriate, protective measures on board aircraft and improve communications protocols in emergencies, and promote the exchange of best practices;
      • Develop a common policy framework and legislation for African states that will address the threat to civil aviation including the carriage on board Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGS). The objective is to have uniform legislation on LAGS for African States as currently states apply different rules, standards and procedures.
    2. Information Exchange
      • Examine the efficiency and operation of current information exchange mechanisms and promote the designation of points of contact for the exchange of information;
      • Evaluate the creation of specialized operations centers in each State for timely information exchange, with full respect for domestic laws on protection and confidentiality of personal information;
      • Exchange studies and evaluations on investigative techniques and professional training; and
      • Strengthen relevant national authorities to accomplish these objectives; and
    3. International Cooperation:
      • Encourage the development of joint efforts at the sub-regional, regional, interregional and global levels to support the development of institutional capacity for civil aviation security;
      • Undertake significant and coordinated outreach actions with States who are party to the Chicago Convention to improve aviation security measures, methods, and security frameworks;
      • Assure systematic collaboration with a view to developing compatible and efficient civil aviation security regimes, particularly with the authorities in points of departure of non-stop flights arriving in our countries;
      • Promote effective application of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, and the development of capacity to correct deficiencies identified under the Universal Security Audit Program, supporting limited dissemination of the audit results among the States party to the Chicago Convention. To this end, the assistance and development mechanisms should be strengthened; and
      • Design methods and frameworks for training specialized-personnel in civil aviation security.
  6. We call on ICAO, its Member States and other International agencies, manufacturers and stakeholders to provide technical assistance to African States including funding, capacity building and technology transfer to effectively address security threats to civil aviation; and

  7. We recognise the need to put in place a follow up mechanism for the implementation of our recommendations and therefore further recommend that this Joint Declaration be integrated with the 2007 Declaration on Aviation Security in Africa and that a roadmap be developed for their implementation and urge the ICAO Assembly at its meeting from 28 September to 8 October 2010 to adopt a resolution that reflects the principles contained in this declaration.

Abuja, April 13, 2010

Last Published Date: August 9, 2012
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