ICAO and the Decade of Action

A global effort to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

On 22 January 2020, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, outlined his priorities for the year and kicked-off the Decade of Action. His message was clear: with just ten years to go, a  global effort is required to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Only by mobilizing governments, civil society,  businesses, and individuals who will help support initiatives, will we be able to meet the 2030 deadline.

At the launch of the Decade of Action, Secretary General Guterres explained that the aim is to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges and mobilize everyone everywhere, demand urgency and ambition and highlight innovative ideas and solutions. He noted that “the Decade of Action is central to achieving fair globalization, boosting economic growth and preventing conflict. We will leverage the United Nations Development System to engage partners from the local to the global: to mobilize a movement for the Sustainable Development Goals.”


The United Nations system has been committed to mobilizing resources, increasing awareness and priorities to meet the goals, and fostering concrete solutions since 2015. As part of the broader UN family, ICAO’s Strategic Objectives are strongly linked to the Global Goals. Although aviation and sustainable transport, in general, are not represented by one standalone SDG, they are mainstreamed across them.

In 2016, ICAO’s 39th General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on “Aviation’s Contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. All 193 Member States effectively recognized the essential role of aviation in achieving the 2030 Agenda and the fundamental interlinkages between the SDGs and ICAO’s Strategic Objectives.

Strategic Objective: Safety

ICAO leads and participates in numerous partnerships to assist States in addressing safety challenges, with priority given to sharing information on assistance activities, expertise, technology and resources and coordinating targeted capacity-building projects that facilitate the implementation of the SDGs.

Strategic Objective: Economic Development of Air Transport

As an official observer on the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators, and the custodian agency of global indicator 9.1.2: Passenger and Freight Volumes, by Mode of Transport within the 2030 Agenda framework, the Organization works closely with other Specialized Agencies such as UNCTAD, UNEP as well as OECD and others in generating and disseminating data and analysis to support Member States to monitor progress towards the UN SDGs.

Strategic Objective: Environmental Protection

ICAO maintains a close relationship with other UN bodies and international organizations dealing with international aviation and the environment. ICAO works with industry groups like ACI, IATA, IFALPA and more to help guide policymaking, provide support to its Member States, and coordinate actions across the environment agenda. Actions include developing policies and strategies to reduce emissions and noise from the aviation sector and decrease carbon dioxide emissions from air travel.

Strategic Objective: Security and Facilitation

Under the Universal Security Audit Programme, ICAO monitors various indicators and conducts appropriate audit activities in order to promote global aviation security worldwide. The Organization participates in two Counter-Terrorism Implementation and Capacity Building (CTITF) Working Groups and cooperates with the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for implementing technical assistance projects nationally and regionally.

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will rely on advances and innovations in sustainable transport, including aviation. ICAO’s Strategic Objectives continue to contribute to the achievement of the 17 Goals and the creation of a thriving planet.

To learn more about ICAO’s work programmes and activities conducted under the Strategic Objectives to achieve the SDGs, you can visit the ICAO website.

To learn more about the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, click here.



Decade of ActionSDGs