ICAO and UN bodies publish joint statement on recovery of global supply chains

Posted: 21 September 2020 | | No comments yet

As part of its efforts to support the industry through the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAO has published a joint statement with seven UN bodies.

ICAO and UN bodies publish joint statement on recovery of global supply chains

Through a joint statement on the crucial importance of resilient and sustainable integrated supply chains to the global recovery from COVID-19, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and seven other United Nations (UN) bodies have encouraged Member States to realise more effective coordination and cooperation between the transport modes and across borders.

ICAO’s Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, said: “We are calling on all governments to maximise the contribution of international trade and supply chains to a sustainable socio-economic recovery in post-COVID-19 times, through greater use of international legal instruments and standards, as well as strengthened regional and sectoral cooperation.”

The statement was signed by Liu and the heads of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (UNECLAC), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA). 

It points to a number of specific mechanisms, such as the United Nations TIR Convention and its eTIR International System, the CMR Convention and its eCMR Protocol and the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and international standards for data exchange, such as those developed by UN/CEFACT, noting that “these instruments allow for moving cargo across borders without requiring physical checks and for reducing contact between people”. 

For air transport, specifically, Member States have been invited to follow the key principles presented in the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) Report and implement its recommendations and guidelines. “We are encouraging states to take a risk-based approach to restoring connectivity with minimal restrictions while preventing the spread of COVID-19, protecting the health and safety of drivers, crew and border agency personnel,” Liu added. Here, the implementation of Public Health Corridors (PHC) will be of special importance in ensuring ‘COVID-19 free’ flight operations.

The joint statement builds on the momentum launched by ICAO in the very earliest days of the pandemic to ensure the safe, secure and sustainable restoration of air connectivity. This momentum includes the development and then universal and cost-free provision of key technical guidance, and continuous advocacy for the pivotal importance of air transport to both recovery from the pandemic and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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