HomeAviation NewsICAO Council Condemns Ukraine Airspace Violation

ICAO Council Condemns Ukraine Airspace Violation

Russia’s military advance on Ukraine has been going on for days now, and the intercontinental country has been condemned from all corners of the world. The latest entity to condemn Russian actions in Ukraine is the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the main international airline of the United Nations.

ICAO statement

The ICAO Council met at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada on 25 February and issued a stern statement on the matter. The meeting was attended by representatives of 36 countries.

These countries are members of the ICAO’s Governing Council and are elected by the ICAO Assembly for three years.

The Russian Federation is a council state for the term 2019-2022, but not Ukraine. Nevertheless, a representative of the country was allowed to attend the session as the organization was discussing issues related to Ukraine.

A statement from the United Nations said

The Council of States condemns the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a member state of the United Nations, which is inconsistent with the principles of the UN Charter and inconsistent with Article 1 of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

In line with the sentiments expressed by the UN Secretary-General in his statement, the Council expresses its deep concern over the recent developments in Ukraine and its solidarity with its people.

Article 1 of the Chicago Convention implies the sovereignty of each member state over their airspace. Every signatory to the Convention must recognize it. The officially signed document describes Section 1:

The treaty states recognize that each state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over its territory over the airspace.

The ICAO argues that by attacking, Ukraine violated Article 1 of the 1944 Chicago Convention. Russia and Ukraine are both signatories to the Chicago Convention.

International Civil Aviation Organization

So what does ICAO do? It is an intergovernmental body that facilitates diplomacy and cooperation between different countries on issues related to civil aviation.

The organization’s main task is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy that supports diplomatic interaction and to conduct research on new aviation policy and standardization innovations.

Simply put, the ICAO sets the framework and rules for all aviation-related purposes such as air traffic management, navigation, and airport classification. Without this UN body, civil aviation would be quite complicated if each country made its own rules.

The ICAO’s job is to issue guidelines for the standard practice followed by all of its 193 signatory countries. Of course, the final authority still depends on the law of the individual country and the local governing body.

Some background

Over the past few days, Ukraine has been facing world destruction due to Russia’s military might. It comes just weeks after US President Joe Biden, other NATO members, and allies warned of an attack on Russia’s second-largest European country. About three days ago, Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian aviation when Russian forces launched their offensive in the country.

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