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UAE becomes first Arab member of ICAO PKD

posted on 18/09/2011: 1639 views



Canada - The UAE has uploaded its e-passport public keys into the ICAO Public Key Directory to become the first Arab country to do that and the first Arab member of the PKD Board, the standing and governing body responsible for the ICAO PKD.

The move allowed the UAE to join the master list of PKD Participants which included the US, a number of EU member states and other countries.

Founded in March 2007 in Canada, the ICAO PKD has been established to support the global interoperability of ePassport validation to act as a central broker to manage the exchange of certificates and certificate revocation lists.

Major General Mattar Salim Al Neyadi, Director General of E-Services and Communications, Ministry of Interior (MoI), and Chairman of the UAE E-passport Project, said the UAE had completed the procedure on 8 September 2011 which primarily aims to improve and enhance electronic and direct verification of passport biometric data and facilitate passage of e-passport holders through border control points of PKD participants.

He added that the UAE joined the PKD in 2010 and became a voting member at the 15 member Montreal-based PKD Board in 2011 for a three-year term. The PKD Board provides issuing agencies with a platform for sharing experiences and advice with other agencies from other countries. 'The UAE has won the PKD membership in a record time thanks to the tireless efforts made by its technical team,' he indicated.

Any issuing state wishing to join the ICAO PKD should submit a Notice of Participation to ICAO's Secretary General before signing up with the PKD operator.

'The membership of the PKD is an important step towards maintaining security as one of the key planks of the MoI's strategy which seeks to cope with advanced technology and to deliver world-class technological services,' he added.

States that participate in the PKD make it easier for their citizens to travel internationally.

The most important benefit of the PKD is actually reaped by the document holder. If a chain of trust can be established quickly and easily, delays at international border crossing points will be minimised.

Participation in the ICAO PKD allows e-passport issuing agencies to share experiences.

While in Canada, the UAE e-passport experts attended the ICAO's seventh symposium and exhibition on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs, Biometrics and Security Standards on 12 to 15 September 2011. A select group of industry partners displayed a broad range of products and services related to MRTDs, biometric identification, travel document security applications and border inspection systems. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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