The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) marking the foundation of a strategic partnership between the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel (CT Travel) Programme and the Immigration and Border Management programming of IOM. The agreement establishes a framework that will allow IOM and UNOCT to provide through the CT Travel Programme joint support and technical assistance to Member States to enhance national capacities to detect, prevent, and investigate terrorist offences and related travels by using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems.
The signing of the MoA took place during a hybrid ceremony between the Deputy to the Under-Secretary General and Director of UNOCT, Raffi Gregorian, and the Director of the Department of Programme Support and Migration Management, Monica Goracci.
“Today’s Memorandum of Agreement further enhances the all-of-UN approach that the CT Travel Programme employs. IOM brings a wealth of added value to the CT Travel Programme including its global footprint of regional and country offices, and its long-standing relations with relevant law enforcement agencies through existing border management programmes. The consolidation of the all-of-UN approach will be of benefit to Programme partners, to donors, and most importantly to Member States”, Gregorian said.
IOM’s Advance Passenger Information (API) projects, implemented in support of UN Security Council Resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), 2482 (2019), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices and other international law obligations, have grown in prominence in recent years, and the CT Travel Programme is already coordinating with IOM in a variety of countries around the world.
“The Immigration and Border Management Division of IOM regularly collaborates with the CT Travel Programme in support of a comprehensive approach to API for our Member States”, Goracci said. “This MoA formalizes and strengthens this collaboration, with a view to promote joint delivery at country level programming, where API intersects strongly with ongoing IOM migration governance support in areas such as border security or countering migrant smuggling, especially in countries where the IOM Border Management Information System (MIDAS) is operational.”
This agreement will formalize the ongoing collaboration, enhance coordination between the CT Travel Programme Partners and IOM field operations and will promote synergies among the respective expertise for more comprehensive and coherent support to Member States.
Currently supporting 49 beneficiary Member States across the globe, UNOCT’s flagship global initiative assists beneficiary Member States in enhancing their national capabilities to detect and intercept terrorists and serious criminals by using API and PNR data and cross-checking against INTERPOL, and other international and national databases of known and suspected terrorists and criminals, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), and 2482 (2019), ICAO Standards, and other international law obligations, standards and recommended practices, relevant privacy laws, and human rights principles. The Programme also promotes regional cooperation through enhanced information exchange and sharing of lessons learned and good practices.
The CT Travel Programme follows an ”All-of-UN” approach to provide comprehensive, yet tailored assistance to beneficiary Member States, with the support of five implementing partners, including the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
Through its Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Division, IOM supports Member States in improving the policy, legislation, operational systems, human resources and administrative and technical structures required to respond more effectively to diverse migration and border management challenges. Immigration and Border Management (IBM) activities are in line with IOM’s commitment to facilitate orderly, safe and regular migration and mobility. IBM activities are designed as partnerships with governments and other relevant interlocutors to identify needs, determine priority areas, and shape and deliver interventions. The IBM team’s activities are continuously evolving to meet new migration challenges on the national, regional and international level.
The UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme is co-funded by generous contributions from the Kingdom of Netherlands, the European Union, the United States of America, the State of Qatar, Australia, Germany, Japan, Hungary, and the Republic of India.