Ashgabat hosted a two-day seminar on “Passenger data processing systems and tools (API/PNR) to combat the global pandemic”, organized by the International Organization for Migration/United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkmenistan with the support of the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan jointly with the IOM of Kyrgyzstan.
This seminar was held within the framework of the regional project for the CA countries “Implementation of the preliminary information on passengers in Central Asia” funded by the IOM Development Fund. The seminar is aimed at familiarizing the participants with the modern conditions of use of the API system around the world. In particular, the study of best practices for the use of APIs and other systems and tools that simplify the movement of passengers and allow passengers to travel safely, according to the IOM website.
The seminar was attended by representatives of the relevant national bodies of the Government of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, in particular the State Migration, Border Guard, Customs Services, Ministries of National Security, Internal Affairs, Health and Medical Industry, as well as civil aviation agencies. The experts from the UN Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT), consultants from the World Health Organization (WHO), specialists from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and specialists from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) participated remotely.
Workshop attendees also addressed current issues of how passenger data can be used to track COVID-19 cases and help authorities address the challenges posed by the global pandemic, while respecting migrant and human rights.
Christopher Horneck, an expert of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and an IOM consultant, provided the participants with an overview of the API and PNR systems, explained the differences between the systems and their advantages, and spoke about international cooperation and partnerships with air carriers.
As Kay FUKAGAWA, an employee of the Migration Management Department of the IOM headquarters in Vienna, emphasized:
“Strengthening the capacity of Member States in border management is one of the key priorities for IOM.”