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Turkey is Candidate for 2016 ICAO Council Elections

12 Nov 2014
There are 36 Members holding office within three groups at the ICAO Council, the top decision making organ of ICAO which is a sub-organization of the UN.

Our State, which is among the founder members of the ICAO Council, has held office at the Council last in 1950, and is now a candidate for the elections to be held in 2016; and the campaign activities for this purpose have been initiated in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications as well as our ICAO Permanent Representative.

Our Council membership is of importance in many aspects such as our country's being involved in the resolutions/decisions adopted at the global level and required to be complied with, prevention of any resolutions/decisions which would negatively affect our developing industry, as well as enhancing the visibility of our country.

The subject of development and contribution in the civil air transport, which is the primary criteria determined for the Council membership by ICAO, has been demonstrated through the splendid growth achieved at the civil air transport in our country in particular during the last decade; and such demonstration stands as the most notable and justified criteria for the fact that our country is an eligible candidate for the ICAO Council membership.

The contribution to the air transportation industry by our country, both at the European region and at the global level, has been highly appreciated throughout the world; and our idea to be a candidate for the ICAO Council has been accordingly welcomed basing on justified grounds similarly.

Representation of more countries at the Council is another criteria. For that purpose, by establishing rotation groups, the matter of sharing a membership at the Council with 6, 7 or even 8 countries is also generally welcomed.

Accordingly, our Country has leaded establishment of the Black Sea Caspian Rotation Group (BSCG) with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and it has ensured that such group starts its activities. For the purpose of formalizing the group, the project is at the stage of signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and it is expected to be concluded in a short span of time.

The Council memberships, the number of which is 36 in total, have been shared as per the understanding and agreement between the international organizations such as ECAC, ACAC, AFCAC, LACAC, which are meso-level within the organization of the ICAO, in addition to the developed countries at the field of civil aviation, and called briefly as the Status quo.

The Council Membership is substantially required to be included in the list, covering the 8 members to be determined for the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) including our Country since it is one of the founder members. On condition that such list is supported by the other regional organizations, the list of the other organizations is also accepted by ECAC in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.

Therefore, the initiatives started within the organization of the ECAC for being a candidate for the ICAO Council Membership elections held in 2013 have been discussed considerably seriously.

Due to the fact that the present 8 members have announced that they were candidates, and have started to invest by making attempts accordingly, and also that some matters such as an opportunity would be created for reaching to a decision by discussing the issue in details within the ECAC have been shown as reason; the opinion that supporting of our candidature for the 2013 elections by the ECAC would not be possible has been welcomed by the majority.

In consequence of the attempts made in this respect; an agreement has been reached in relation to the fact a resolution will be adopted for our candidature for 2016 and that it will be supported by ECAC in return for renouncing from being a candidate for 2013. A resolution has been adopted for such case at the Director Generals' meeting held in May of 2013 by the Director Generals of ECAC.

Following the said resolution, activities have been started in close coordination with the relevant institutions and organizations as part of our candidature for the Council membership in 2016.

In the first instance, in March of this year, a letter has been sent to the Director Generals of Civil Aviation of the ICAO member states, other than the European Director Generals, and a formal notice in relation to our candidature has been served thereby.

Afterwards, a letter has been sent to the Ministers of Transport of the European Union Member states, and they have been informed about the delicacy and importance of the matter; and their attention has been drawn to the risks inherent in looking at the issue of becoming a candidate for the Council Membership only from the EU membership perspective.

The candidature campaign activities are in progress; and in particular, the AFCAC, comprised of the 57 African States, and the LACAC, comprised of 24 Latin American States, and the ACAC, comprised of 12(*) Arabian States, have been contacted, and attempts have been made for informing them about the latest developments.

It is deemed favorable that attending the meetings of such three organizations, and providing detailed information about the developments thereby would also make a great contribution to the candidature process.

During the upcoming period, the activities as part of our candidature campaign will be continued intensively, and we will focus particularly on the diplomatic attempts during such period. The activities for making attempts at our Embassies at the other capitals in coordination with our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and through our ICAO Permanent Representative, on one hand, and at the Civil Aviation Organizations, on the other, are still being continued at the present.