Continue to mobilize to ensure the safety of air transport [fr]
Public briefing on aviation threats to international security - Speech by M. François Delattre, permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 27 September 2017
"I would therefore like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of close and effective cooperation between ICAO and the United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, particularly the Counter-Terrorism Committee. " François Delattre
Allow me, first and foremost, to express my sincere thanks to the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Ms. Fang Liu, for her thorough briefing. I am pleased to see her again at the Security Council table, one year after the adoption of substantive resolution 2309 (2016). I would also like to thank my colleague Ambassador Aboulatta, Permanent Representative of Egypt, for his briefing on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). International civil aviation continues to be a prime target for terrorist groups because of both the potential for human and economic damage and its impact on the media. Without going back over the striking examples of the past, several events this year once again illustrated the seriousness of the threat. One recent such example occurred at the end of July, when the Australian Government thwarted a terrorist attack that was likely targeting a plane.
In the face of such a serious threat, France has continued to work over the past year to strengthen systems in place and its response. At the national level, the measures we have taken to enhance air transport security include enhanced capacity to detect new explosives; enhanced and more rapid response capabilities to airport attacks; the setting up of intelligence cells dedicated to airports; the development of a new management system for background checks; and the adoption of a risk assessment programme for flights passing through third countries. Within the European Union, France recently strengthened its cooperation with the European Aviation Safety Agencythrough a cooperation agreement reached a few days ago. One of the stipulated areas of cooperation is the security of air transport. Internationally, France is particularly active in ICAO, where it works on a daily basis under the leadership of my colleague, Philippe Bertoux, who is here today, in order to improve the Standards and recommended practices, strengthen international audits and to provide requesting States with targeted technical assistance. France has also assumed the chairmanship of the ICAO Council’s Committee on unlawful interference, where it will actively contribute to the work of strengthening aviation security. My country is also committed to supporting the work of ICAO and has shown its commitment by providing two experts from the French administration to the ICAO — one in Montreal to support the team in charge of audits and the other at the regional office in Dakar to support the African Aviation Security and Facilitation Plan.
Against that backdrop, the Security Council has an important role to play in calling on all States to meet their obligations in this arena and to promote the implementation of the standards set out in the Chicago Convention. The adoption of resolution 2309 (2016) last year was an important moment to give new impetus to the efforts of the international community to evaluate the risk that terrorism poses for international civil aviation. We welcome the progress that has been made, but we must, and can, still do better.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of close and effective cooperation between ICAO and the United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, particularly the Counter-Terrorism Committee. The special meeting organized jointly by the CTC and ICAO in July was an excellent opportunity for enhancing dialogue between Member States and the relevant international and regional organizations and for identifying ways to promote the implementation of international standards in the field of aviation security. France hopes that this cooperation will continue and hopes to see the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate participate in the work of ICAO in Montreal, once she takes office.
Let me conclude by reiterating the importance that France attaches to this issue and by highlight the breadth of France’s engagement on what it considers to be a top priority. It is imperative that the international community as a whole continue to mobilize to ensure the safety of air transport. Today’s meeting marks a new milestone in that regard.