In September, ICAO and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) released a joint statement encouraging national governments to support their designated postal operators, air cargo carriers, and express mail operators through financial aid and operational flexibility.
“These operators constitute critical infrastructure and are important partners in combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while also driving economic recovery and expansion,” underscored ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu.
Signed by Dr. Liu and the Director General of the UPU, Mr. Bishar A. Hussein, the statement also reaffirms their commitment as UN specialized agencies to foster greater international cooperation to help contain the virus and to protect the health of essential workers.
“These personnel are keeping the world connected in terms of emergency food and many other medical and humanitarian necessities and ensuring that the world can still depend on efficient global supply chains,” Dr. Liu commented.
The joint ICAO/UPU statement highlights the recommendations and associated global roadmap of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), which includes the need to Ensure Essential Connectivity as one of its ten Key Principles. Importantly, this principle puts air cargo, a key contributor to the global supply chain, in clear focus.
Since the early days of the pandemic, ICAO has been engaging with global air cargo stakeholders, including UPU, as well as other global supply chain stakeholders. This coordination has improved information sharing and is helping to foster solutions to the unique challenges faced by the various stakeholders.
“Going forward, ICAO and UPU will intensify our joint work initiated through the existing Memorandum of Understanding, and with a view to understanding how COVID-19 and geopolitical trends are affecting global supply chain evolution,” the ICAO Secretary General emphasized.