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International bodies sign agreement with CARICOM to increase fight in countering Terrorist Travel

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding related to the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme. 

The agreements will help the fifteen (15) Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States enhance their capacity to detect the travel of terrorists and serious criminals while upholding human rights, in compliance with 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, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, and CARICOM IMPACS Executive Director (Ag.), Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jones.

“The Agreements signed are a symbol of the solid joint commitment of CARICOM IMPACS and the Countering Terrorist Travel Programme of my Office to assist CARICOM countries in enhancing detection capabilities using passenger data through an ‘all-of-UN’ concerted effort,” Voronkov explained. 

“This partnership is one that is mutually beneficial to both entities. 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, it 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,” added Lieutenant Colonel Jones.

The Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, 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. 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 Programme 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 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.

To date, 38 beneficiary Member States have joined the CT Travel Programme since its launch in May 2019.

The UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme is co-funded by generous contributions from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the European Union, the United States of America, the State of Qatar, Australia, Japan, and the Republic of India.

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