MONTREAL, Canada, 28th September, 2016 (WAM) – A high-level delegation of the UAE today attended the opening of the 39th Triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada.

The event was officially opened by ICAO’s Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who was joined on the occasion by Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre.

The UAE delegation was led by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and included Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA; Laila Hareb, Assistant Director General of Strategy and International Affairs; Ismaeil Al Blooshi, Assistant Director General of Safety Affairs; Ahmed Al Jallaf, Assistant Director General of Air Navigation Services; Hamad Al Muhairi, Assistant Director General of Security Affairs, as well as Capt. Aysha Al Hamili, Permanent Representative of the UAE to ICAO.

ICAO’s 191 member states and a large number of international organisations have been invited to the assembly, which establishes the worldwide policy of the organisation for the upcoming triennium. The UAE is a candidate for the ICAO Council and the election will take place on 4th October.

Al Mansouri, said, “The modernised and equipped infrastructure along with the fair competitive environment attracts the international airlines to the UAE aviation industry. We encourage the states of the international civil aviation community to follow our footsteps and adopt reciprocity with regards to advantages enjoyed in our civil aviation system. We will keep seeking excellence in everything we do and set an international example to be admired and followed.”

The ICAO 39th Assembly will see a gathering of diplomats from more than 190 countries. The UAE Minister of Economy will be delivering the opening speech at a ceremony hosted by the UAE this Friday, in which UAE’s achievements and efforts in security and safety, environment and infrastructure will be highlighted as well as the co-operation on regional and international level.

“The UAE aims to enhance co-operation globally and to strengthen the relationship through exchange programmes, trainings and take part in international and regional initiatives. I would like to reaffirm the country’s steadfast commitment to support the international and regional civil aviation sector. We believe in the importance of collaborative efforts, partnership and co-operation in civil aviation,” Al Suwaidi, said.

Laila Hareb, said, “The UAE firmly believes and stands for harmonised global security approach under the support and leadership of the ICAO. The UAE also appreciates its responsibility towards the international community and supports the development of the international civil aviation sector through co-operation. In addition, during the UAE’s reception and gala dinner on 30th September, there will also be announcements of several initiatives in the aviation sector, which will be launched by UAE GCAA.”

During the opening of the 39th Assembly, Saif Al Suwaidi received a Council President Certificate by the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, in recognition of the UAE’s progress in resolving its safety oversight deficiencies and improving the effective implementation of applicable ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) during 2015. The Council President Certificate was established in support of the “No Country Left Behind” initiative.

During assembly sessions, ICAO’s complete work programme in the technical, economic, legal and technical co-operation fields is reviewed in detail. Assembly outcomes are then provided to the other bodies of ICAO and to its member states in order to guide their continuing and future work.

Prior to the opening of the 39th session, the UAE participated in the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC) meeting, also taking place in the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. The meeting covered a welcoming briefing and discussion on the co-ordination of current Arab civil aviation affairs.

The UAE joined the ICAO in 1972 and ran for a seat in the council in 2007 and then was nominated again for consecutive terms in 2010 and 2013. The UAE is an active player in the organisation, which is reflected through its chairmanship of a number of specialised committees and membership in a number of committees.