ICAO will hold the Seventh Symposium and Exhibition on MRTDs,
Biometrics and Security Standards on 12 to 15 September 2011. A
select group of Industry Partners will complement the Symposium,
displaying a broad range of products and services related to MRTDs,
biometric identification, travel document security applications
and border inspection systems.
The 2011 Symposium follows last year's successful event, attended
by over 600 participants from States, international organizations,
companies and other institutions. As usual, it will take place at
ICAO Headquarters, 999 University Street, Montréal, Quebec,
Canada. The Symposium programme will be posted on this website as
soon as it becomes available and will be continually updated.
The presentations and handouts will be available only in English.
Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French,
Spanish and Russian, as required.
This important annual event will address ICAO MRTD standards and
specifications, identity management best practices and related border
security issues. The 2011 MRTD Symposium marks the tenth anniversary
of the 9/11, which serves as a reminder that terrorism remains a
serious ongoing threat to aviation and national security. This year’s
Symposium focuses on the role of MRTDs and border controls in combating
and preventing terrorism and related trans-border crime, also links
with aviation security which is being redefined and broadened, made
more intelligence-led; paying increasing attention to the details
and patterns of travellers, which relies on robust identity management.
Who Should Attend
The Symposium will be of particular interest to officials from national
identity and travel document issuance authorities, passport offices,
immigration, customs and other border inspection and law enforcement
agencies; Ministries of Interior, National Security and Foreign
Affairs, as well as embassy Consular staff. Other key stakeholders
include private companies offering technologies and products for
effective international identity and border management, airlines
and airport authorities, security and facilitation consultants,
academia and think tanks.
MRTDs in the context of evolving
global security environment
ICAO develops specifications for passports and other travel documents
to ensure interoperability, promote enhanced facilitation, increase
confidence in the reliability of travel documents, and contribute
to national and international security. ICAO-compliant secure travel
documents and a robust identity management regime are powerful tools
in preventing and combating terrorism and serious transnational
crime. However, remaining weaknesses in identity management or travel
document security flaws tend to be exploited by terrorists and criminals
worldwide and present a weak link in global efforts to ensure security,
stability, good governance and the rule of law.
A key finding from the 9/11 Commission Report was that “for
terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”
The issuance and integrity of travel documents, border security
and identity management remain an important and integral part of
global counter-terrorism capacity-building efforts in furthering
the objectives of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001).
The evolving aviation security debate has gone beyond passenger
screening and increasingly takes into account border security matters,
including identity management, inter-agency cooperation, data sharing
and combating identity fraud. In particular, the new approach was
triggered by the Northwest Airlines failed bombing plot on 25 December
2009, which highlighted the need of identifying and stopping perpetrators
before they engage in attacks against aviation. A recent ICAO Declaration
on Aviation Security, unanimously adopted at the ICAO 37th Assembly,
places particular emphasis on information collection, analysis and
timely sharing, and urges States to share best practices in consolidating
travel document security, fraud detection and effective border controls.
The Assembly also has expanded the scope of the MRTD programme,
tasking it to work on new work items to address emerging security
The new security environment calls for the exploration of closer
synergies between the MRTD Programme and aviation security, in search
for a more comprehensive security architecture able to respond to
current terrorist and criminal challenges. In addition to traditional
aviation security measures such as use of new technologies in passenger
and cargo screening, aviation security experts have highlighted
the importance of travel document security, identity management
and data sharing as part of the enhanced comprehensive aviation
security of the 21st century. In particular, the Declaration on
Aviation Security called for intensified and expanded use of the
ICAO Public Key Directory and the Interpol’s Stolen and Lost
Travel Document Database, two key instruments in preventing and
combating identity fraud. Also, it placed particular emphasis on
information collection, analysis and timely sharing, and urged States
to share best practices in consolidating travel document security
and fraud detection.
All these issues are directly related to MRTDs and identity management
which are becoming part of the emerging comprehensive security framework
of the future.
For more information please contact:
Ms. Garleen Tomney-McGann
Phone: +1 514-954-8219, extension 6329
Fax: +1 514-954-5061