The 36 State Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), joined extraordinarily during its 203rd Session yesterday by the Honorable Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport for Malaysia, in addition to a high-level Delegation from Ukraine, unanimously adopted a Resolution condemning, in the strongest terms, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine earlier this year.
The Resolution was adopted after an address to Council by Minister Liow Tiong Lai, who stood before ICAO in solidarity with the families of the passengers and crew who were lost. Minister Lai outlined a series of statements and recommendations on both MH370 and MH17, all of which were aimed at enhancing related measures supporting greater safety and security in international civil aviation.
In a closely-related development, the Council also reviewed the Report of the Task Force established under ICAO to explore Risks to Civil Aviation Arising From Conflict Zones. The Report proposed that the existing framework for managing international civil aviation remains fit for purpose, that States should continue to be responsible to ensure the safety of operations in their sovereign and delegated airspace, and that airspace users have the ultimate responsibility to decide where they fly.
The proposed conflict zone work programme for ICAO through 2015 was approved by the Council, some aspects of which have already been well-advanced. It was recognized that some planning elements would require further consideration at ICAO’s upcoming High-level Safety Conference next February.
“We have reviewed some very challenging international issues today in Council and adopted several key decisions,” remarked ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “We deeply appreciated the impacts which the MH370 and MH17 incidents have had on the families, friends and governments of all of the victims concerned, and the inputs of the government officials from Malaysia certainly assisted in the successful outcome of our deliberations.
Much work remains to be done in the area of conflict zone risk mitigation and the Council remains fully engaged in guiding ICAO’s efforts to achieve a practical and effective global solution.”