Supporting Strategies - Human resources management and gender equity

Progress on ICAO accountability and transparency


As a result of the Council’s adoption of Appendices G, H, and I to the Rules of Procedure for the Council (Doc 7559), the Secretary General reviewed and proposed relevant amendments to The ICAO Service Code (Doc 7350) for alignment and consistency with the newly-approved Appendices. Following approval by the Council (C-DEC 223/10), the Secretary General promulgated consequential amendments to the ICAO Framework on Ethics (Annex I to the ICAO Service Code).


Following a review of the administration of internal justice at ICAO, the Secretary General promulgated amendments to Staff Regulation 11.2 of the ICAO Service Code establishing an Appeals Board as a neutral first instance process. Consequential amendments were also made to Staff Rule 111.1 (Right of review and appeal). The ICAO Appeals Board Rules of Procedure were established and promulgated to expand upon the Staff Rule, providing a procedural framework within which appeals before the Board are handled.


In accordance with the revised ICAO Framework on Ethics, certain reports were published on the ICAO public website. These included the Annual Report of the Investigative Entity on Cases of Misconduct Handled on behalf of ICAO and the Annual Report on Actions Taken in Response to Complaints of Misconduct and Retaliation.


It should be noted that in 2021, the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), as the investigative entity for ICAO, recorded 18 cases of misconduct involving ICAO, compared to the 17 registered in 2020 and the 14 registered in 2019. Of the matters received in 2021, five were predicated for investigation, three were referred to ICAO for appropriate action, two remain under intake assessment, and eight were recorded for information.


Concerning the actions taken by the Secretariat, in 2021, the OIOS provided five new investigation reports to ICAO. Disciplinary processes or administrative measures were initiated in respect of all five investigation reports. However, two of the cases were completed in 2021 while three remained in process as at 31 December 2021. In addition, disciplinary processes and administrative actions were completed in respect of three out of four investigation reports carried over from 2020 while one remained in process. In this regard, reference is made to paragraph 2.2 of the Annual Report on Actions Taken in Response to Complaints of Misconduct and Retaliation for 2020 (C-WP/15180 refers), whereby the Council was informed that, in several cases, either disciplinary processes or administrative measures had been initiated in 2020 but were not fully completed, and that these cases would form part of the 2021 Report.


It should be noted that, as at 31 December 2021, four investigation reports remained in process and would therefore be carried over into 2022. These cases will form part of the 2022 Report to the Council should the related disciplinary processes and administrative measures be completed by 31 December 2022.


Human resources management and gender equity


Human resources statistics


At the end of December 2021, ICAO’s total workforce, including all staff, consultants, seconded personnel, gratis personnel and interns, comprised 908 individuals representing 108 nationalities. Of the established posts, 285 were occupied by staff in the Professional and higher categories. Of the supernumerary funded posts, 63 were occupied by staff in the Professional and higher categories. Women held 32.28 per cent of posts in the Professional and higher categories as at 31 December 2021. At the P-2 level and above, the distribution of women by grade level was as follows: 0 per cent at the D-2 level; 19 per cent at the D-1 level; 25 per cent at the P-5 level; 30 per cent at the P-4 level; 42 per cent at the P-3 level; and 62 per cent at the P-2 level. As at 31 December 2021, the percentage of women in the General Service category was 75 per cent.


Gender equality


In March 2021, the ICAO Council unanimously adopted the Declaration on Improving Gender Representation in ICAO’s Governing and Technical Bodies. In the Declaration, the ICAO Council, as individual Representatives on the Council of ICAO, and as a collective Council, committed to do everything possible to, among other things: not approve any Committee or working group of the Council, or any other group, task force or panel, or otherwise approve the membership of any such group, with a membership comprised only of one gender; not elect a cohort of Vice Presidents comprised only of one gender; not elect a cohort of Committee and Group Chairs comprised only of one gender; and not approve policies or other official documents containing gender-discriminatory or biased language. In the same vein, the Council established a Small Group on Gender, which focused on the topic of gender consideration in the governing bodies. The mandate of the Group was further expanded to ensure that work on gender equality would continue, leading towards further initiatives, including in relation to an update of Assembly Resolution A39-30 for adoption at the 41st Session of the Assembly in 2022.


To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, ICAO, in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI), held the International Women's Day High-level Dialogue. In line with UN-Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2021, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, the event provided an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous efforts of women in the aviation sector, who, together with men, continued to support safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation systems around the world during the pandemic. The programme focused on the opportunities and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had created for women in the aviation industry, the pandemic’s impact on overall efforts towards achieving gender equality, and the importance of planning for and prioritizing a more equal and equitable recovery in order to ensure the sustainability of the sector and its workforce.


The Council, as part of its undertaking to demonstrate leadership and deliver concrete actions to ensure a work environment supportive of gender equality, committed to working with the Secretariat to ensure that gender-discriminatory or biased language in existing ICAO policies and other official documents was identified and removed. To that end, the Rules of Procedure for the Council (Doc 7559), the Rules of Procedure for Standing Committees of the Council (Doc 8146), as well as the rules of procedure for the Council’s technical bodies (for example, the Rules of Procedure for the Commission of Experts of the Supervisory Authority of the International Registry (Doc 9893)) have been or are currently being edited to incorporate gender-neutral language.


To encourage the participation of women aviation professionals in ICAO’s online and virtual courses, the Technical Cooperation Bureau (TCB), through its Global Aviation Training (GAT) Section, launched an initiative in March 2021 to coincide with International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, offering a 50 per cent discount on select ICAO online and virtual courses to women participants.


Furthermore, in 2021, the ICAO Secretariat began working on the preparation of the Gender Equality Programme Implementation Plan 2.0 for 2022–2024. The Plan is aimed at further mainstreaming and implementing gender equality objectives at ICAO while enabling the Organization to more efficiently deliver on its accountabilities as part of the United Nations system.


Activities related to the implementation of the ICAO Gender Equality Programme are carried out under the guidance and leadership of the Senior Advisory Committee on Gender Equality, comprising members of ICAO’s senior management. In line with its terms of reference, the Committee is chaired by the Secretary General, with the Head of the Strategic Planning, Coordination and Partnerships Office (SPCP) serving as its secretary. The Committee meets twice a year.


In addition to the SPCP, which is tasked with coordinating the ICAO Gender Equality Programme, a network of Gender Focal Points is in place, consisting of staff members in both the General Service and Professional categories from across ICAO headquarters and Regional Offices. The role of the Gender Focal Points is to support the implementation of various gender equality activities.


In 2021, all Bureaus and Regional Offices continued to support the objectives of the ICAO Gender Equality Programme, the details of which were provided in the Annual Report of the ICAO Gender Equality Programme for 2021, presented to the Council during its 225th Session.

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