THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

The first Sessions of the Assembly

 

Montreal - First Session of the Assembly

Delegates in the lobby of the Windsor Hotel, Montréal

The Assembly is the legislative body of the International Civil Aviation Organization and is therefore the principle and supreme governing body of the Organization. According to Article 48 a) of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the Assembly shall meet not less than once in three years and shall be convened by the Council at a suitable time and place. An extraordinary meeting of the Assembly may be held at any time upon the call of the Council or at the request of not less than one-fifth of the total number of contracting States addressed to the Secretary General. Article 48 b) of the Convention reads as follows: “All contracting States shall have an equal right to be represented at the meetings of the Assembly and each contracting State shall be entitled to one vote”.

 

Guide Book for the Delegates attending in Geneva the Second Session of the Assembly

The Assembly elects a Council, currently made of 36 States, which is the executive body of the Organization. Until the 14th Session of the Assembly, which met in Rome in 1962, the Assembly met annually. At the Sessions of the Assembly, the complete work of the Organization in the technical, economic, legal and technical co-operation is reviewed in detail and guidance given to the other bodies of ICAO for their future work.

 

The original version of Article 48 a) provided that the Assembly shall meet annually; this was beneficial for the Organization since it brought together the contracting States at frequent intervals to permit them to be in control of the program, budget and activities of the Council. However, at the 8th Session of the Assembly held in Montreal from 1 to 14 June 1954, paragraph a) of Article 48 was amended (Resolution A8-1) to provide for triennial sessions of the Assembly; the main justification of this step were the cost of national delegations for attending the sessions and the cost for the Organization. This amendment came into force on 12 December 1956 and since 1959 the Assemblies meet only every three years, except for Extraordinary Assemblies.

 

The first Sessions were held either in Montreal, or outside Canada at the invitation of one of the Member States, as the capabilities of the International Aviation Building were rather limited due to the large increase in the number of Contracting States (from 26 in March 1947 to 70 in 1957) and thus the number of delegates attending the Assemblies; this resulted in reducing the costs of the Assembly to be defrayed by ICAO budget. It is to be noted that no provision was made in the first permanent accommodations occupied in 1949 by ICAO (the International Aviation Building, located at 1080 University Street, at the corner of Dorchester – now Boulevard René-Lévesque) for a special conference room in which to hold the Assembly Sessions; thus, the Council Chamber was used as Assembly Hall.

 

Session

Date

Place

Pin

1st

6 to 27 May 1947

Montreal, held at the Windsor Hotel

2nd

1 to 21 June 1948

Geneva, Switzerland, held at the Palais des Nations

 

3rd

7 to 20 June 1949

Montreal, held in the Sun Life Building

 

4th

30 May to 20 June 1950

Montreal, held in the International Aviation Building

5th

5 to 18 June 1951

Montreal, held in the International Aviation Building

 

6th

27 May to 12 June 1952

Montreal,  held in the International Aviation Building

 

 

The daily Journal distributed during the Assembly Sessions shows early designs of the ICAO emblem. Moreover, the pins that were distributed to the Delegates also provide helpful information on the dates of utilization of these emblems. The history of these designs is provided in another chapter (See “ICAO Early Emblems”).

 

Session

Heading of the Assembly Journal

1st

 

 

2nd

 

3rd

 

4th

 

5th

 

6th

 

 

Montreal - First Session of the Assembly – Date of cancel: 6 May 1947.

Hand-painted cover made by E.J. Henriques of Meridian, Mississipi

for Wellborn Ellis of Atlanta, Georgia.

At least 60 different cachets for United Nations events were made by Henriques between 1946 and 1949, using a pen and water colors to produce unique cachets for each of the events. It is believed that only two to five of each were produced.

Note the mistake in “Aeronautic” (Should be “Aviation”).

 

Montreal - First Session of the Assembly (1947)

Early emblem shown in the lobby of the Windsor Hotel

 

Montreal - Second Session of the Assembly – Date of cancel: 25 May 1948.

Hand-painted cover made by E.J. Henriques of Meridian, Mississipi

for Wellborn Ellis of Atlanta, Georgia.

(Same designer as the cover related to the First Session).

 

France – 3 March 1990 - 90th Birth anniversary of Max Hymans (1990-1961), Civil Aviation Pioneer.

He was Chairman of the French Delegation at the Chicago Conference in 1944.

He was Head of the French Delegation at the 1st (1947) and 2nd (1948) Sessions of the Assembly; at the 2nd Assembly, he was elected President of this Assembly.

In 1963, the ICAO Council unanimously voted to bestow the 3rd Edward Warner Award posthumously on Max Hymans, for his outstanding contributions to the development of international civil aviation.

 

  Montreal – Postcard showing the Laurentien Hotel on Dominion Square, Montreal.

Some meetings of the Fourth Session were held at the Laurentien Hotel.

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