ICAO and ILO to enhance cooperation on contributing to sustainable development and gender equality in aviation sector labour

Montréal and Geneva, 16 March 2022 – Data collection and the promotion of the sustainable development benefits provided by aviation professions, particularly for women, are the focus of a new agreement signed by ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder.

Under the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ICAO and the ILO will work to leverage off their complementary efforts and policy coherence within their respective mandates for global aviation and labour, with the ultimate objective being more effective support to States now seeking to achieve the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Effective immediately, the MoU will assure improved ICAO/ILO progress on gender equality and sustainable development through a wide variety of joint activities, encompassing research, technical meetings, technical advisory services, training, and collaboration on the development of guidelines, tools and methodologies.

“ICAO’s conclusion of this agreement with the ILO responds to the ICAO Assembly’s Resolutions on the UN Agenda 2030 SDGs and gender equality, which call for new partnerships within the UN system in support of enhancing aviation’s contributions to sustainable development, and for the demonstration of strong, determined leadership and commitment towards advancing women’s rights,” remarked President Sciacchitano.

The ICAO Assembly is comprised of all 193 member States, and meets triennially. The 2019 ICAO Assembly Resolution A40-21, Aviation’s contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underscores how ICAO’s work to support States’ enhancements to the safety, security, sustainability and connectivity of the global air transport system directly contributes toward the achievement of the SDGs. 

An earlier 2016 Assembly Resolution A39-30, on the ICAO Gender Equality Programme, had also stressed how ensuring equal opportunities for women within the aviation sector provides a crucial opportunity to drive broader progress towards gender equality.

“The agreement is very timely in view of the serious challenges the pandemic has caused for workers’ rights in the aviation sector,” said Director-General Ryder. “The ILO looks forward to working with our colleagues at ICAO to combat the effects of the pandemic, and to build a socially sustainable recovery and decent work in the sector.”

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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Since that time, countries have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices through ICAO which help to align their national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realized. ICAO forums also provide opportunities for advice and advocacy to be shared with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognized air transport stakeholders.

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