MONTRÉAL, 24 September 2013 – The Secretaries General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) held a press conference this afternoon on the opening day of ICAO’s 38th Assembly. The event followed on a special strategy session held earlier this year between the two agencies and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.
Raymond Benjamin of ICAO and Kunio Mikuriya of the WCO used the 38th Assembly opportunity to highlight their ongoing efforts to streamline and strengthen air cargo supply chain security, given the importance of the issue to several endorsements that ICAO will be looking for from its Member States during the Assembly period. They were joined on the occasion by Oliver Evans, Chairman of the Board for The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), who provided important cargo industry viewpoints on current developments and planning, and by Boubacar Djibo, Director of the ICAO Air Transport Bureau.
Over 1,400 delegates will be at ICAO over the next two weeks to discuss a range of critical global issues, many of them expected to impact how world States and operators will cooperatively manage the projected doubling of air transport traffic by 2030.
Effective international partnerships to support air cargo supply chain technical assistance and cooperation, particularly in developing countries and high-risk areas, are becoming more and more critical as global stakeholders seek to address vulnerabilities and create opportunities to enhance trade facilitation. As the UN’s specialized agency for civil aviation, ICAO has been stressing of late that aviation carries some 35% of global cargo by value or $6 trillion worth of goods each year, and that developing trade and cargo capacity in emerging regions remains a global priority.
ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin said:
“Implementing sustainable aviation security is a key priority for ICAO today. This implies innovative security solutions that serve to maintain or strengthen existing procedures, minimize checkpoints and delays, and remain affordable for States and aviation operators. ICAO has begun working more closely with the WCO and industry in this area because we’ve recognized that focusing only on the aviation leg of a given shipment is no longer enough. To fully support the shipping community and ensure optimized cargo connectivity for our customers, all of the players along the cargo supply chain have to work together.”
WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya said:
“Improved partnership at the international level is critical to how we meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the contemporary border and trade environment. Globalized trade and travel requires innovative solutions and enhanced coordination and connectivity between all stakeholders to efficiently secure and facilitate legitimate trade, support economic competitiveness and provide protection to societies. The WCO is grateful for the support and input of ICAO, the IMO and industry as we continue to adapt our customs frameworks to the needs of modern businesses and societies.”
TIACA Board Chairman Oliver Evans said:
“For industry the key issue is always speed and reliability,” stressed TIACA Board Chairman Oliver Evans. “Global trade in the 21st century increasingly relies on the fastest possible transport times, and our customers rely heavily on all participants of the supply chain to get agricultural produce or other time-sensitive cargo to distant markets quickly and securely. TIACA is encouraged to see ICAO and the WCO working more closely with each other and with industry on these issues, and furthermore that this cooperation is already delivering practical tools, such as the new ICAO-WCO Moving Air Cargo Globally publication just launched this week, which will include TIACA as co-author in its next edition.”
ICAO Air Transport Bureau Director Boubacar Djibo said:
“ICAO is placing increasing focus on end-user needs and on supporting all initiatives which seek to enhance the overall connectivity of the air transport system. This prioritization received sector-wide support during our ICAO/McGill Pre-Assembly Symposium a few days ago and it has been especially useful as we have begun to review our policies and standards relating to air cargo supply chain security. By cooperatively ensuring that the needs of companies and travellers are fully met, while simultaneously seeking to enhance our system-wide quantity of destinations served – especially on a point-to-point basis – ICAO will continue to support the economic development and connectivity factors that are so essential to the societies and businesses we serve through our States.”
The ICAO 38th Assembly runs from 24 September through 4 October.