ICAO official statement to U.S. Global COVID-19 Summit

For its official contribution to today’s White House Global COVID-19 Summit on the theme of Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, the following written statement was submitted on behalf of ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is strongly committed to supporting the recovery of international air transport, so heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to enhancing the cooperation among States.

Recognizing that passengers should benefit from fair and equitable treatment and the ability to travel, and that vaccination should not be a precondition for travel, it is highly desirable that vaccination be used to safely facilitate mobility. To this aim, vaccines should be made available and accessible to all passengers to ensure that no country is left behind in the global aviation recovery.

In this context, ICAO has called a Ministerial Conference on 12 October 2021 urging Governments to commit to effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases through international travel by implementing ICAO’s guidelines.

A multilayer risk management strategy for civil aviation will be required which is adaptable, proportionate, non-discriminatory and guided by scientific evidence, with agreed practices harmonized to the greatest extent possible, for air travel purposes, based on common epidemiological criteria, testing requirements and vaccination, and underpinned by regular review, monitoring and timely information- sharing among States.
In support of the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAO invites Governments to facilitate the transport of vaccines as well as essential medical supplies and personnel by air, particularly to developing countries.

ICAO invites Governments to ensure the safe, secure, and orderly flow of traffic, the operational readiness of aviation personnel, in particular aircrew and air traffic controllers, as well as the airworthiness of aircraft.

Finally, ICAO is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure the interoperability of digital applications, secure transmission and validation of pandemic-related testing, vaccination and recovery certification that protects privacy and provides for non-digital accessibility.

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