ICAO Secretary General stresses links between air transport investment and socio-economic prosperity to Uruguay Leadership

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ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu delivered an important message to the leadership of Uruguay this week, highlighting the fundamental links between States' investments in air transport and the sustainable socio-economic prosperity they ultimately achieve for their citizens and businesses.

Dr. Liu met with the Vice-President of Uruguay and President of the General Assembly and Senators' Chamber, Mr. Raúl Sendic and the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr. Víctor Rossi, Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Minister of Defence, Dr. Jorge Menéndez during her mission. She delivered an address to the National Board of Civil Aviation which was attended by Uruguay's Ministers of Transport, External Affairs, Defence, and Minister of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment, Ms. Eneida de León, Undersecretary of MTS, Mr. Benjamín Liberoff, representing the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, General Alberto Zanelli, Director of DINACIA (Dirección Nacional de Aviación Civil e Infraestructura Aeronáutica), Brigadier General (Av.) Antonio Alarcón and many others dignitaries of the Uruguay's Government.

"Uruguay today is exporting to some 150 countries around the world, with very robust growth having been recorded in the past decade - largely driven by animal and vegetable product exports," Dr. Liu highlighted. "Given that air transport is an essential global lifeline for perishable products and tourism growth, this brings to mind the importance of Uruguay's civil aviation system being fully ICAO-compliant."

Remarking on the country's impressive efforts to address its aviation safety SARPs implementation, and in line with the targets established under ICAO's Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), Dr. Liu encouraged the country's aviation leadership to strengthen further its regulatory and oversight functions and capacity in order to achieve additional progress towards the objectives of the Bogotá Declaration, which establishes an 80% effective implementation target with respect to ICAO's global Standards for all South American States.

"Uruguay has now improved its rating under ICAO's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) by more than 30% last year, while resolving all previously identified significant concerns," declared the Secretary General. ICAO has engaged in a variety of assistance and capacity-building to support South American and global States with their safety and security oversight responsibilities, in particular under its "No Country Left Behind" initiative and through customized, State-specific Technical Assistance and Cooperation Programmes. These efforts are showing positive results not only in Uruguay, but worldwide, and largely as the result of the new and more active role being played by ICAO's Regional Offices.

Dr Liu noted that ICAO's enhancement of its support through its Regional Offices is particularly crucial in terms of supporting States, and that at the regional level, major progress had already been achieved.

"I have been striving to restructure the ICAO Secretariat in order to realize a strengthened ICAO regional presence, with the new resources set out being focused mainly on safety and security assistance for Member States," she commented.

Compliance with ICAO SARPs has been recognized by the international community as the bedrock of sustainable aviation development, having been indicated within the United Nation's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and reiterated as imperative through two Resolutions at the most recent ICAO Assembly. Dr. Liu welcomed the enthusiasm demonstrated by Uruguay's leadership to deepen its collaboration with ICAO towards related goals, notably through its conclusion of a new Management Services Agreement with ICAO.

"Nothing should now stand in Uruguay's way as you now seek to improve your ICAO compliance, optimize your aviation benefits, and ultimately deliver sustainable socio-economic prosperity for all Uruguayan citizens and businesses," Dr. Liu remarked.

During her official visit to Uruguay, Dr. Liu also delivered an extensive lecture on the challenges of air transport to a high-level cross section of officials from Uruguay's International Relations and Transport Commissions, members of its Diplomatic Corps and representatives of the aeronautical sector.

In her discussions with the Foreign Minister of the Republic, Mr. Rodolfo Nin Novoa emphasized his appreciation for Dr. Liu's efforts to bring ICAO closer to Member States and the general public, as well as the role of civil aviation as an engine for sustainable economic and social development.

In her meeting with Uruguay's Ministry of Transport and Public Works and Air Force, organized by the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador José Luis Cancela, she stressed the importance of ICAO's Strategic Objectives and "No Country Left Behind" initiative to sustainable economic prosperity in developing States especially.

Secretary General Fang Liu thanked the Uruguayan delegation for its active and constructive role in ICAO's work, and highlighted the important opportunities that Uruguay has for the development of its civil aviation sector. To this end she signed an agreement with the State's Minister of Transport and President of its Civil Aviation Board, Mr. Víctor Rossi, formalizing ICAO's assistance in support of the State's Civil Aviation development.

On the last day of her official visit to Uruguay, Dr. Liu participated in a meeting with high-level officials of DINACIA, Uruguay's air navigation services provider, including its Director and the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. She also visited the Carrasco Airport. She expressed her satisfaction with the results achieved by Uruguay with respect to improvement of effective implementation of ICAO safety standards, and urged the State to enhance its civil aviation oversight system and capacities further on Safety and Security in order to optimize aviation's economic benefits.

Source: ICAO