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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
( Sea Island, Georgia )
For Immediate Release
June 9, 2004

FACT SHEET: G8 Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI)

Presidential Action

President Bush secured G-8 agreement today on the U.S.-driven “Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative” (SAFTI) to enhance international transportation security, strengthen international counterterrorism cooperation, and protect our borders, while also facilitating trade and travel.

G-8 Action: Terrorist attacks against the transportation system remain a serious threat, and President Bush is determined to counter this threat. The President led the G-8 today in adopting the “Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative” (SAFTI) to enhance further the security of the traveling public, while improving the efficiency and ease of travel. The SAFTI action plan commits the G-8 to 28 action items, including:

  • Establishing a 24-hour aviation point-of-contact network for addressing imminent threats;
  • Sharing information on suspect travelers, including by facilitating real-time sharing of information on lost and stolen passports;
  • Establishing a methodology for assessing port security; and
  • Expanding research and collaboration on biometric technology for next-generation passenger control.

MANPADS: The SAFTI action plan commits the G-8 to additional steps to counter the threat to civil aviation posed by shoulder-launched missiles known as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). Specifically, the G-8 will:

  • Accelerate efforts to destroy excess and/or obsolete MANPADS;
  • Strengthen controls on the transfer of MANPADS production technology; and
  • Develop a methodology to assess airport vulnerability to the MANPADS threat and effective countermeasures.

U.S. Leadership: The United States continues to lead global counterterrorism efforts aimed at enhancing transportation security. The United States has:

  • Provided assistance in the destruction of over 8,488 MANPADS and obtained commitments to destroy an additional 1,356 MANPADS;
  • Allocated over $100 million in FY 2004 to assist other states to improve their ability to combat terrorism; and
  • Inaugurated a program to provide current information on lost or stolen passports to Interpol to allow border authorities worldwide to check the validity of U.S. passports.

Background: At the 2002 Kananaskis Summit, the G-8 Leaders adopted the U.S.-driven Transport Security Initiative to promote greater security of land, sea, and air transport, including cargo. At Evian in 2003, President Bush obtained G-8 agreement on an action plan to counter the threat of MANPADS and on the establishment of the Counter Terrorism Action Group ( CTAG ) to assist willing states in building their capacity to counter the terrorist threat.

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For the full text of the SAFTI agreement, please click here.

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