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19 November 2004

Passport Alert System To Be Developed by U.S., Australia, Chile

Sharing data on lost, stolen passports will combat terrorism

The United States, Australia and Chile will work together to develop "passport alert" systems for sharing information on lost or stolen passports, according to a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Chilean Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza.

The effort is intended to combat terrorism and improve travel safety in the Asia-Pacific region.

The officials announced plans for the initiative at the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Santiago, Chile. The U.S. Department of State released the joint statement on November 19.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

Office of the Spokesman
(Santiago, Chile)
November 19, 2004
Joint Statement by the United States, Australia and Chile
Australia, the United States and Chile will develop systems for sharing passport alerts to help combat terrorism and improve travel safety for business and other travelers in the region. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the APEC Joint Ministerial Meeting in Santiago, Chile, by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Chilean Minister of Interior Jose Miguel Insulza and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
Australia and the U.S. will implement a trial of the APEC Regional Movement Alert List (RMAL) system that will automatically share data on lost and stolen passports. RMAL will enable border management officials of participating economies to immediately check passenger movements against records of lost and stolen passports before or during flights. When fully developed, RMAL will make more effective the Advanced Passenger Information (API) systems that APEC member economies are building to promote business mobility. RMAL has the potential to become an important part of the border and transportation security infrastructure of the region and is a specific security commitment that APEC Leaders called for in the Enhancing Human Security section of the 2003 Bangkok Declaration.
Chile will join a system that allows border management authorities throughout APEC to manually check records of lost and stolen passports.
The three Ministers expressed the hope that other APEC economies would follow these initiatives and join in subsequent efforts to significantly enhance the safety of travel throughout the region.

(end text)