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8 Dec 2014
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been praised by the UN Secretary-General for its role in addressing pressing issues of health, security and the environment.
Ban Ki-moon spoke at a meeting in the United States City of Chicago on Monday, to mark the 70th anniversary of the convention for regulating and coordinating international travel.
Secretary-General Ban said that in the area of health, when Ebola broke out in West Africa, ICAO answered fear with facts.
“As part of the global Travel and Transport Force, ICAO is coordinating the international response to Ebola’s impact on travel, trade and tourism. ICAO stood firmly with the World Health Organization against general bans on travel and trade that block efforts to rush in medical responders and supplies. (26”)
Mr. Ban said ICAO also advocated measures to make sure that suspected cases are managed safely in ways that stop Ebola from spreading.
On security, Mr. Ban said that when the Boeing 777 carrying 298 passengers went down in eastern Ukraine, experts from ICAO helped to produce the preliminary findings and continue to support investigation for the final report.
Regarding the environment, the Secretary-General pointed out that through ICAO, governments and the aviation industry have committed to a two percent annual fuel efficiency improvement and carbon-neutral growth from 2020.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations