ICAO’s Council condemns DPRK missile launches

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The ICAO Council has condemned recent missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), noting that they “pose a serious risk to international civil aviation” and “a complete disregard of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” The decision was arrived at earlier this week during the Council’s 229th Session, subsequent to a report on the topic presented by ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar, and an update from ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

The report and update followed upon a letter from President Sciacchitano to the Director-General of the DPRK’s National Aviation Administration on 30 May of this year, wherein he specifically addressed the country’s intention to launch a military reconnaissance satellite using ballistic missile technology between 30 May and 11 June. That letter had received no response. In addition to condemning the launches, the ICAO Council also reaffirmed the importance of the Chicago Convention in providing the legal and operational framework for a global civil aviation safety system based on mutual trust and recognition, and recalled Assembly Resolution A41-3 (October 2022) which urgently called upon the DPRK to comply with its international civil aviation obligations under the Chicago Convention.

The Council is a permanent body of the Organization responsible to the Assembly. It is composed of 36 Member States elected by the Assembly for a three-year term. In the election, adequate representation is given to States of chief importance in air transport, States not otherwise included but which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation and States not otherwise included whose designation will ensure that all major geographic areas of the world are represented on the Council.

The Council convenes the Assembly, and as one of the two governing bodies of ICAO, the Council gives continuing direction to the work of ICAO. In this regard, one of its major duties is to adopt international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and to incorporate these as Annexes to the Chicago Convention. The Council may also amend existing Annexes as necessary.

On occasion, the Council may act as an arbiter between Member States on matters concerning aviation and the implementation of the provisions of the Convention; it may investigate any situation which presents avoidable obstacles to the development of international air navigation and, in general, it may take necessary steps to maintain the safety and regularity of international air transport.