Highlighting that efficient vaccine distribution and the sustainable recovery of air transport require extensive and global public-private cooperation, ICAO and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have issued a new joint statement confirming several key areas of future cooperation on common priorities.
The new statement was formalized last week by the respective ICAO and ICC Secretaries General, Dr. Fang Liu and Mr. John W.H. Denton AO. It acknowledges the central role of international aviation in global economic and social development and international business, and stresses both parties’ commitment to implement the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force’s (CART) guidance and recommendations.
“The ICAO CART documentation provides the international foundation for aviation response and recovery”, Dr. Liu explained. “By improving our collaboration with the ICC to promote CART adherence and understand the needs of air transport system and supply chain users, we can help to rebuild consumer confidence in travel, restore cross-border business, and ultimately revive the global economy.”
The ICAO-ICC statement also underscores the importance of governments applying multi-layered risk mitigation measures on an aligned and consistent basis to facilitate the aviation sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and promotes the adoption of interoperable and secure tools and systems for the efficient health screening of travellers in order to accelerate the re-establishment of international air travel and trade.
The ICC further commits to supporting ICAO outreach to private sector entities engaged in expediting global vaccine shipments through customs and border checks, in addition to processing crew involved in vaccine transport operations.
“Trans-border vaccine distribution requires effective public-private sector collaboration in order to ensure that supply chains function properly and so that ‘cold chains’ aren’t broken or compromised,” Dr. Liu explained. “Aviation has permitted international vaccine supply chains to be successful thus far, and this closer cooperation between ICAO and the ICC will help ensure that continues.”
The ICC will also work with its community to identify highest-priority civil aviation restart opportunities, and to work with governments and international organizations on their implementation. It will also make use of its international presence to support work on more comprehensive measures that will ensure that no country is left behind in the global recovery, and strive to ensure its members’ full awareness of ICAO’s important international standards, guidelines, specifications and recommendations.
The new joint statement echoes other recent calls on governments to prioritize seafarers and aircrew in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes, together with other essential workers, in accordance with the WHO SAGE Roadmap for prioritizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines.