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Willis calls for global action to improve aviation security

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δ C O M M O N W E ALT 1 -I PA R L IA M EN TA R Y LIBRARY M tC A H12/89 17 FEBRUARY 1989WILLIS CALLS FOR GLOBAL ACTION TO IMPROVE AVIATION SECURITYThe Minister for Transport and Communications, Ralph Willis, has called for a universal system of reconciliation of passengers and luggage on international flights, to ensure that only the luggage of passengers who actually board a flight is loaded onto an aircraft.Speaking at a special meeting of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held in Montreal, Mr Willis said x-raying of luggage, although a useful supplement, was not a satisfactory substitute for a reconciliation of passengers and luggage.The meeting, which was attended by senior Transport Ministers from 12 other countries on 15-16 February, was held in an effort to prevent a recurrence of tragedies such as the recent destruction of Pan AM flight 103 at Lockerbie in Scotland.Mr Willis said Australia supported firm and quick action by ICAO to counteract acts of sabotage against civil' aircraft."It is essential that all States co-operate as far as possible in ensuring a uniform approach to dealing with those responsible for acts of terrorism involving aviation", Mr Willis said.He urged wider adherence to the existing international legal instruments developed by ICAO to counter terrorism.Mr Willis said Australia also supported ICAO's efforts to assist countries needing help to improve their aviation security arrangements, and referred to the participation of Australian experts in this work.International action to improve the detectability of any explosive substances that might be present in luggage was another area deserving international action, Mr Willis added.The special meeting of ICAO unanimously passed a resolution on aviation security presented by the President of the Council, Dr Assad Kotaite of Lebanon.(The full text of Mr Willis' speech is attached, along with the draft resolution which was passed unanimously by the ICAO council.)Further information: Brian Hill 062-777200(w) 062-488452(h)* * * * *



Mr President and Delegates, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to attend this special Council meeting. Australia regards the issue of aviation security, the object of this special session, as particularly important. Australia condemns totally all acts of terrorism and believes terrorism against civil aviation to be particularly abhorrent. The representation at this meeting and the statements made yesterday and today underline a clear commitment on the part of governments to oppose

interference with civil aviation.

We were appalled by the latest incidents of large-scale sabotage, the destruction of Pan Am 103 on 21 December. This tragedy, and the resulting grief it caused to hundreds of families through the death of so many loved ones, is a major concern. Australia offers its deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

Australia is pleased to support the principles of a resolution calling for quick action by the Council, together with acceptance by all aviation nations of a common purpose to counteract acts of sabotage against civil aircraft.

Australia believes the initiatives that can be taken to help prevent any further incidents of sabotage against civil aviation fall into two broad categories: those that can be taken now, and those where implementation is dependent on further development,

for example of technology, or consideration by the international community.


In the first category we Believe two measures can be implemented very quickly: As a first step, we urge all members that have not yet ratified the three mafor security Conventions and associated Protocols of ICAO to do ss. It is essential that all States co­ operate as far as possible in ensuring a uniform approach to

dealing with those responsible for acts of terrorism involving aviation.

A second step that can be progressed immediately is the general application of security Standards and Recommended Practices already developed by ICAQ, Security cannot be maintained on an international basis unle* these Standards and Recommended Practices are universally applied. An example where full and early implementation is possible is the Standard requiring reconciliation of passengers and baggage. This standard imposes

little costs on States biii probably more than any other single action can reduce the timat of sabotage.

It is essential that all States move quickly to ensure that reconciliation is effectirely applied. I support the statement of the Representative of the United Kingdom that x-ray screening of hold baggage, while a useful supplement, cannot take the place of positive reconciliation of passengers and their baggage.

Where States are having difficulty in implementing the current Standards and Recommended Practices, there is clearly scope for assistance by ICAO. In ffiis regard, Australia has been able to provide ICAO with experts to assist with a pilot project in the Asia Pacific Region. In this project, experts have assessed the

security needs of 21 coutifcries, and ICAO is providing the countries with a report m actions they might take to improve security. In some cases necessary equipment is also being provided. The experts hme also carried out training sessions

for security staff in these countries and are assisting with the evaluation of a proposal for a permanent training school in one country.


Australia believes there is scope for extension of this very successful project to other regions, and would encourage other nations to participate in such projects.

Among the second category of initiatives that can be taken, namely those requiring further development or consideration, is international action to improve the detectability of all relevant types of explosive substances. Research and development work to

improve detection techniques need to be further encouraged. In this connection research is being undertaken in Australia, as in other countries, with the aim of developing such a system. We believe that we have the technology using high and low energy

neutrons to develop a system for rapid and effective detection of explosives. We see a need for an international effort to draw the results of such research together.

Other speakers have highlighted a number of initiatives that also fall into the category on longer term action. There is much that can be done through ICAO, and Australia strongly supports a plan of action which will assign to the Unlawful Interference Committee, the Commission and the Council, the task of examining,

in even greater depth, ways to eliminate all acts of unlawful interference with civil aviation. Australia will participate actively in this process through its membership of the Unlawful Interference Committee and other ICAO bodies. However, we should not lose sight of the possibility of immediate action as I have outlined earlier, and I would urge all States to take such steps as soon as possible.



(Presented by th· President of the Council)


CONSIDERING th# recent abhorrent acts of unlawful interference against internet ions! civil aviation in which many innocent people have bean killed and civil aircraft destroyed and expressing its deepest sympathy to the fas ilia· ef all who have died ae a result of luoh criminal aeta|

RECOCK12IRC that all sets of unlawful Interference against international civil aviation constitute # grave offence in violation e£ international lawj

RBCOCKZZlKC shat States have made great effort· in taking appropriate atep· to prevent such acts end have co-operated effectively in their investigation}

MSOALLIKO its Resolution of ZS March 1980 and its Declaration adopted on 18 December 1966, related to acts of unlawful interference aimed at the total destruction in flight of civil aircraft in commercial service and the death of all on board}

RECALLING Assembly Resolutions A l 7-1 and A2 S - 7 ;

1. STRONGLT CONDEMNS all acts of unlawful interference against international civil aviation, Including most recently th· destruction by a criminal act of Pan American Flight 103. on 21 D e c m b a r 1988}

2. REAFFIRMS that aviation security must continue to be treated as a matter of the highest priority by tbs International Civil Aviation Organisation and its member State·;

S. RIITERATRS the importance of the Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation (1971) and the parties' obligations under that Convention to co-operate In the extredition or prosecution ef those responsible for such sets;

*♦ URGES member States not yet party to the Montreal Convention (1971) to become parties to that Convention and its Protocol at an early date;

9. CALLS Upon member States to continue to assist in the investigation of such •cca and in the apprehension and prosecution of these responsible.

t« CALLS UPON member States to intensify their efforts for the implementation of existing Standards, Recommended Practices, and Procedures relating to aviation security, to monitor such implementation, and to taka all necessary steps to prevent acts of unlawful interference against

International civil aviation;

7, FURTHER CALLS on member States, while respecting their sovereignty, to substantially enhtnee co-operation end co-ordination between the» in order to improve such implementation;

S. UHGBS member Itatee that have the menus to do so to consider increasing technical, financial and material assistance to Stares in need of such Msietance to improve aviation security through bileteral and multilateral effort·, in particular through the ICAO Technical Assistance mechanism;

9« DRCS8 member ftetee te expedite, In the light of Assembly Resolution A 2 6- 7 , App. 0, research and development on detection of explosive· and on security equipment, to continue to exchange such information, end to consider how to achieve an international regime for the marking of explosives for the purposes of detection;

10. DIRECTS the Committee on Unlevful interference and other appropriate ' bodies, in the light of recent acts of unlawful interference aimed at the total destruction of civil aircraft, to expedite efforts (a) to determine if new Standard· or amendments to existing Standard·,

Recommended Practice·, and guidance material, applicable to all international operations, are necessary, and (b) to consider the development of additional Standards, Rec.emmtOded Practice·, and guidance material specifically to meet any increased

security threat;

11. DIRECTS it· aubordinate bodies to consider and submit recommendation· as a matter of top priority in the field of aviation security including, inter alia, the ereae outlined in the Annex attached, in the light of the existing work programme of the Organization;

12. REQUESTS the President of the Council end the Secretary General, before the end of the current Session, to submit appropriate proposals for further action on ieauee not felling within the term· of reference of the Committee on Unlawful Interference and the Air Navigation Commission;

13. r e q u e s t s the President of the Council and the Secretary General to propose te Council wsys and means of strengthening the aviation security functions of the Secretariat according to the available resource·*


Unlawful Interference Committas (with the advice of the AVSEC Panel aa appropriate) both viti ra'speet to neasvree applicable to all intetnatienal civil aviation operation· and apeciil measures to neet any increaaed aecurity threati

- Detection of cabotage devices, especially explosives,

- the comprehensive screening of checked baggage·

- The eereenlng of passengers end hand baggage·

- The security problem created by the increasing carriage of radio·, computer·t and other electrical equipment.

- The achievement of full and reliable reconciliation of paeaengere and their baggage*

* The security problems posed by the handling of cargo, mail, and courier services*

- The problem· of controlling access at airports.

- The provision of advice to States on request on aviation security organisation end techniques *

- The co-ordination by ICAO of an aviation security training programme.

- The provision to member States, on request, of international security surveys under ICAO auspices.

Air Wsvigstlon Commit»ion

- Examine the possibility of taking security considerations into account in the design of aircraft.

- Perform liaison with the other subordinate bodies of the Council ss appropriate on other issue· raised above.

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