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Counter-Terrorism Travel Programme Summary

Editing Office - GENEVA

Building the Capacity of Member States to Prevent, Detect and Investigate Terrorist Offenses and Related Travel by Using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) DataProgramme Context

Members of terrorist groups and other transnational organized crime groups continue to take advantage of porous detection capacity across the globe. The many returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) are a serious threat to global security. Air travel has globally increased the connectivity and is projected to double over the next 20 years. Also, other modes of transport such as maritime and rail increase mobility of all. Processing passenger data therefore is essential to the identification, detection and interception of FTFs and other serious criminals, including those that are otherwise unknown to authorities, both before, during and after travel.In its resolution 2178 (2014), the Security Council called upon Member States to require airlines operating in their territories to provide advance passenger information (API) to appropriate national authorities to detect the departure from, attempted travel to, entry into or transit through their territories of FTFs. 

In resolution 2396 (2017), the Security Council built on resolution 2178 (2014) by creating new international obligations. In addition to reaffirming its requirements on API, the Security Council called on Member States to ‘develop the capability to collect, process and analyze, in furtherance of ICAO standards and recommended practices, passenger name record (PNR) data and to ensure PNR data is used by and shared with all their competent national authorities, with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’ In addition, enhanced use of lists with known criminals and terrorists is of the highest importance.In its recent biennial review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/72/284), the General Assembly reiterated its concern at the increasing flow of international recruits to terrorist organizations, including FTFs, and the threat that this poses to all Member States. It further encouraged Member States to address this threat ‘by enhancing their cooperation and developing relevant measures to prevent and tackle this phenomenon, including information-sharing, border management to detect travel, including through the implementation of obligations on the use of advance passenger information, passenger name record and biometric data, with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’

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