Ways to prevent terrorists crossing borders in focus of OSCE-supported discussion in Armenia

How to make it harder for terrorists and criminals to cross borders, was the main topic of an OSCE-supported workshop in Yerevan today.

The event specifically focused on promoting the International Civil Aviation Organization Public Key Directory (ICAO PKD), a technologically advanced system to secure the integrity of biometric passports.

“Biometric passports with chips are a major step towards making it harder for terrorists and criminals to forge those travel documents,” said Paul Picard, Counter-Terrorism Officer at the OSCE Transnational Threats Department. “It is essential that border control officials can prove quickly and efficiently that the chip has not been tampered with,” he said adding that the Public Key Directory enables exactly this.

The two-day workshop builds on the National Action Plan developed by the OSCE and International Organization for Migration in 2009; the plan focuses on the introduction of an ePassport and electronic ID cards in Armenia.

The event brings together some 20 Armenian representatives from the border, state registry and information technology agencies who will discuss technical, administrative and operational details of the ICAO PKD. It is organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department/Action against Terrorism Unit in co-operation with the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Armenian police.

Since the adoption of the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision in 2009 on the promotion of ICAO PKD, the OSCE conducted similar workshops in Uzbekistan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Albania.

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