Volume 36 (2011)

Volume 36 (2011) / Issue 1

Ruwantissa Abeyratne, 'Outcome of the 37th Session of the ICAO Assembly' (2011) 36 Air and Space Law, Issue 1, pp. 7–22


The 37th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly, held from 28 September to 8 October 2010 in Montreal and attended by a record 1,588 participants from 176 Member States and forty international organizations involved in civil aviation, achieved important advancements in aviation safety and aviation security assuring even greater safety performance in the already safest and most secure mode of mass transport in the world.

Reaffirming ICAO’s leadership role, the meeting adopted a comprehensive resolution to reduce the impact of aviation emissions on climate change. The agreement provides a roadmap for action through 2050 for the 190 Member States of the organization. Solidifying its global influence, the organization signed numerous international agreements, including cooperation agreements with regional civil aviation organizations and bodies from all regions of the world.

The Assembly endorsed a proactive safety strategy based on the sharing of critical safety information among governments and industry stakeholders. It also endorsed ICAO’s plan to establish a multidisciplinary approach to address the critical issue of runway safety. This will bring together representatives from airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, and regulatory authorities. Following a successful diplomatic Conference in Beijing in August 2010, the Assembly built on this achievement by recognizing the need to strengthen aviation security worldwide. In a Declaration, unanimously adopted by participants, international commitment was reaffirmed to enhance aviation security collaboratively and proactively through screening technologies to detect prohibited articles, strengthening international standards, improving security information sharing, and providing capacity building assistance to States in need. The Assembly also put its full support behind a comprehensive, new ICAO aviation security strategy.

The Resolution adopted by the Assembly on climate change makes ICAO the first United Nations Agency to lead a sector in the establishment of a globally harmonized agreement for addressing its CO2 emissions. The resolution was adopted with some States expressing reservations and calling upon the ICAO Council to continue its work on specific aspects of the agreement. This remarkable accomplishment came only two months before negotiations were again undertaken by these very same States at the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting scheduled in December 2010 in Mexico.

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ISSN: 0927-3379
ID: AILA2011002