MONTREAL and ASHKHABAD – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu made a strong case for civil aviation and its many contributions to sustainable socio-economic development while attending the United Nations’ first ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference this past weekend in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan.
“Important current priorities include enhancing airport capacity in increasingly dense urban environments, improving the efficiency of air navigation systems so that more aircraft can safely share a finite airspace, and mitigating emissions from expanding air traffic so that aviation maintains its status as a leading global industry in the fight against climate change. Solutions to these challenges are mainly associated with greater awareness, political will, partnerships and commitments,” she commented.
Dr. Liu shined a spotlight on the key objectives now being pursued globally for air transport modernization and investment, as well as the dependable returns from those investments for the implementation of ICAO Standards and global plan, which governments could expect in terms of sustainable development and enhanced prosperity.
She also looked forward to sharing ICAO’s experiences with the attending delegates and to work with them to foster “an informed, engaged public as a crucial partner in advancing sustainable transport solutions, working collaboratively with all of you to achieve the Agenda 2030 SDGs, and to leave no one, and no country, behind.”
At the Thematic Discussion Session on sustainable transport at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Liu stressed that almost all are aided by the local availability of safe and efficient air transport, while highlighting several SDGs which are directly aided by the benefits States realize through ICAO-compliant air transport systems.
She also commented on the importance of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which was recently agreed at ICAO’s 39th Assembly, while participating in the Thematic Discussion Session on sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis.
The ICAO Secretary General further participated in the conference’s Transport Business Summit and called for closer cooperation with private sector partners and the establishment of working methods which help to enrich industry contributions to transport challenges.
A side-event at the conference was organized by ICAO focused on aviation partnerships for sustainable development. Prominent panelists included Mr. Brian Mushimba, Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Communication, and Mr. Dovran Saburov the Head of Turkmenistan’s State Civil Aviation Department.
While in Ashkhabad, Dr. Liu took the opportunity to meet with Mr. Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev, First Vice-Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan to discuss and agree the way forward on the significant safety concern and strengthening of ICAO’s technical assistance and technical cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. While meeting with Mr. Saburov and Mr. Vepa Hajiyev, Turkmenistan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Liu exchanged views with them on the effective implementation of ICAO SARPs and MRTD/PKD issues. The ICAO Secretary General also met with Mr. Li Xiaopeng, Minister of Transport of China, and Mr. Maxim Sokolov, Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, to exchange views on issues of common interest.