International cooperation vital to American and Caribbean recovery, says ICAO
In order to successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAO has stressed the importance of international cooperation for America and Caribbean.
When addressing North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Director Generals of Civil Aviation by video conference, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, stressed the pivotal role of international cooperation to the success of their COVID-19 recovery plans.
Liu emphasised: “For cooperation to do its part, all parties must be involved on a clear and coordinated basis, whether government or non-government, regulator or industry. If a common path and set of goals cannot be achieved among all of the stakeholders being negatively impacted by COVID-19, the strength we normally derive from our diversity could quickly devolve into detrimental challenges and risks.”
She continued, recognising how critical aviation is to so many economies in the region, noting that ICAO was very sensitive to the fact that financial resources can vary quite significantly per state, and that, for some governments, the levels of industry recovery assistance being discussed aren’t realistic under present circumstances.
Liu underscored: “As we have all learned after decades of global interconnectivity generating many billions of dollars in tourism and trade revenue for NACC economies, we all need each other to be capable and effective. If the NACC’s post-COVID-19 recovery is to be truly successful and sustainable, your goal must, therefore, be to assure not only your state’s recovery, but also the recoveries of your neighbours and their neighbours. This principle of successful recovery and sustainability is at the heart of the UN-wide ‘Recover Better Together’ calls now being promoted in every area of global socio-economic priority.”
She urged the Director Generals participating in the meeting – which had been organised by ICAO’s NACC Regional Director, Melvin Cintron – to recognise the critical role of ICAO and other United Nations (UN) agencies to effective multilateral crisis response. In addition, Liu highlighted the need for highest level political buy-in to assure meaningful commitments and follow-ups on the path to jump-starting the aviation engines of their economies and rebooting of the region’s critical networks of travel, trade and tourism.
She welcomed that a second, higher level meeting was already under discussion to include the region’s Ministers of Transport, Trade, Tourism, and Health, noting that “it’s critical that the regional recovery of aviation is raised to the Ministerial level of consideration, because, simply put, the challenges being faced are beyond the control of a single director general or secretary of transportation”.