U.N. urges increase in aviation security

UNITED NATIONS - Responding to increasing attacks on airports and aircraft, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved its first-ever resolution to address extremist threats to civil aviation and urge more security.

The U.N.’s most powerful body called for stepped-up screening and security checks at airports worldwide to “detect and deter terrorist attacks.” And it called on all countries to tighten security at airport buildings, share information about possible threats, and provide advance passenger lists so governments are aware of their transit or attempted entry.

“The Security Council has delivered a resounding call to action for the international community,” said the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “This is the first U.N. Security Council resolution ever to focus on the threats by terrorists to civil aviation and it demonstrates our joint resolve to protect our citizens from an escalating danger.”

The resolution reflected growing global anxiety following attacks on airplanes and airports from Ukraine, Egypt and Somalia to Brussels and Istanbul.

While aviation security has improved, Johnson said the recent tragedies demonstrate “the urgency of our task” and the dangers posed by “terrorists who probe relentlessly the chinks in our collective armor.”

The British-drafted resolution expresses the council’s concern “that terrorist groups continue to view civil aviation as an attractive target, with the aim of causing substantial loss of life, economic damage” and air links between countries.

Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, told the council before the vote that there are more than 100,000 daily flights carrying 10 million travelers, which adds up to 3.5 billion passengers per year plus “one-third of the world’s trade by value” carried by planes.

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