50 ministers agree to help restore international travel, trade

Ministers, Deputy Ministers and the heads of 24 international organisations have completed a comprehensive review of pandemic-driven priorities for global air transport.

The ministers also used the opportunity to formalise new commitments on border risk management and vaccination approaches, building air transport back better for sustainability and future pandemic resilience, and other key priorities aimed at accelerating air tourism and trade recovery and reconnecting the world.

The agreements reached were enshrined in a new Declaration they adopted as the key outcome of ICAO’s High-level Conference on COVID-19, which completed today after nine days of intensive virtual multilateralism.

The new ministerial Declaration, adopted in the presence of over 50 Ministers and Deputy Ministers, recognises the severity of the COVID-19 crisis for civil aviation, and its cascading impacts on global supply chains and the many national economies which rely so significantly on international flights for tourism and trade.

It also recognized the critical role now being played by air transport and the ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) in keeping the essential supplies and personnel moving to where the world needs them most.

The participating countries committed to a multilayer risk management strategy for international civil aviation, and one which is adaptable, proportionate, non-discriminatory, and guided by scientific evidence.

In his closing remarks to the event, ICAO Secretary General, Juan Carlos Salazar stressed that the development as a very critical moment for governments to be reviewing and refining their pandemic restrictions on international air travelers.

“These outcomes are of urgent concern today to the many millions of people around the world whose livelihoods so fundamentally depend on the capabilities and reach of global aviation. They are also of key importance to the wider global economic and supply chain recovery, and to the most basic socio-economic needs of all ICAO Member States,” he emphasized.

The ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19 ran from 12th -22nd October, and featured the participation of 129 States and 38 international organizations, including key partnering global agencies such as the WHO and UNWTO.

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