EUBAM Rafah facilitates working mission for a delegation from GABC to attend the World Border Security Congress in Skopje

From April 25th to 27th, 2023, EUBAM Rafah facilitated a working mission for a delegation from the General Administration for Borders and Crossings (GABC) to attend the World Border Security Congress (WBSC) in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia.

The WBSC is a premier global platform where border protection policy-makers, management and practitioners, and security industry professionals convene annually to discuss and debate current and future issues facing the border management, security, and migration management sector. In 2023, the Congress focused on the topic of "Developing Border Strategies Through Co-operation and Technology."

The Congress was co-hosted by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of North Macedonia and supported by the Border Police. Participants included representatives from FRONTEX, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Association of Airport and Seaport Police (EAASP), African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC), and Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI).

Plenary sessions, workshops, and discussions focused on various relevant topics, such as the threat posed by terrorists and organized criminal groups and their smuggling networks, trafficking in human beings and migration-related crime (the migration crisis in the digital age), efforts in information sharing and agency cooperation, human rights mainstreaming into immigration and border management, the continuing development of digital borders and the use of data (expansion of facial biometrics and mobile technology, travel document security), capacity building and training, changing challenges to trade and customs, and fighting illicit trafficking in cultural goods.

A specific technology workshop and the presence of top technology companies gave GABC's delegates the opportunity to see some of the latest border tech solutions and offered the ground to discuss these advancements and the way they assist border management activities while helping to maintain safe and secure international travel and trade.

Attending the World Border Security Congress ensured that GABC is updated on the latest issues, policies, and challenges facing the world's border management, protection, and security forces, and gave them the possibility to contribute to discussions on how to best collaborate and cooperate to make borders safer and more secure. GABC also had the opportunity to gain insight into what the future holds for the management of passenger flows, migration and refugee movement, customs and trading, as well as systems and technologies employed in fighting illegal border activities, including drug and people trafficking.