Analysis by Marcelo Colussi*

GUATEMALA CITY (IDN) – More than three months have passed since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the world's leading capitalist power: the United States of America. Nothing has changed. If someone had thought that something could change with his arrival at the White House, they were mistaken from beginning to end. Why should anything change?

The rhetoric used by the tycoon during his presidential campaign could certainly have led one to imagine – mistakenly – some change of scenario. Given the current crisis experienced by the US economy, his programme appeared to be – at least in words – a promise to revive a downcast national industry.

- Photo: 2021

A Colombian Replaces China’s Dr. Liu as Head of UN’s Civil Aviation Organization

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | MONTREAL (IDN) — Colombia’s Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar officially assumed the office of Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on August 1, succeeding Dr. Fang Liu of China. Mr Salazar is the second to replace a Chinese as head of a UN specialized agency.

Mr. Gerd Müller of Germany will be replacing LI Yong as Director General of the Vienna-based UNIDO, another specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

Mr. Müller was chosen for the job middle of July by the agency’s Industrial Development Board and his nomination has been forwarded for approval to the General Conference—the Organization’s highest policymaking organ—at its nineteenth session, which will take place from November 29 to December 3, 2021.

Mr. Salazar assumes the role of ICAO as CEO of the UN’s specialized agency for civil aviation as the international flight network continues to assure the efficient global movement of food, vaccines, e-commerce, and other essential supplies and personnel, despite the air transport industry still being severely confronted by COVID-19, greatly diminished routes, and slowly rebounding international air travel and tourism.

“It is a great honour to be assuming this role at this time, and to have the opportunity to help governments and ICAO play an important part in how this sector builds back better and recovers from the global pandemic,” Mr. Salazar commented.

“We are still facing some tremendous challenges to the restoration of global air connectivity today, and with many regions and populations all over the world facing prolonged economic, social, and emotional hardship as a result.”

Secretary General Salazar is a former Director General of Civil Aviation for Colombia, and speaks fluent Spanish, English, French, and basic Arabic. He has more than 26 years of experience in civil aviation, public policy, and the management of large and complex organizations, and plans to work closely with the ICAO Council to further strengthen the agency’s governance and ethical framework, to review the organizational structure of the Secretariat, to build a digital transformation programme, and to modernize the working methods of the Organization to keep pace with aviation innovation.

He has promised to further strengthen ICAO’s global presence through its Regional Offices and support for key regional priorities, and to assure that special efforts are undertaken through the Organization to support developing States that have suffered the most devastating impacts of the pandemic.

The Organization will further support Member States in the implementation of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) and other capacity building activities aiming at carbon offsetting and initiatives for reducing emissions from international civil aviation.

“It’s important that ICAO remains a key partner for the countries of the world as they work with this agency to recover from the pandemic, to share their skies to their mutual benefit, and to continuously improve the global aviation standards and practices which keep those skies as safe, secure, efficient, and sustainable as the world expects,” said Mr. Salazar.

He said: “I will also work to innovate internally and improve the efficiency by which ICAO performs its important standard-setting role, and to assure that it continuously improves in helping governments, industry, and civil society advocates to effectively consult, coordinate, and achieve consensus together.”

Mr. Salazar was appointed ICAO Secretary General in February of this year by the ICAO Council, after its comprehensive assessment of a number of international candidates. 

“The ICAO Council is very pleased to welcome Mr. Salazar as he officially assumes his new role, and as Council President I look forward to working closely with him in helping to modernize ICAO and make it a more responsive and efficient agency at the service of its 193 Member States,” noted ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

The President also extended the Council’s sincere appreciation to the previous ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, recognizing her dedication and contributions to ICAO during her two terms as Secretary General. [IDN-InDepthNews — 01 August 2021]

Photo: Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar officially assumed the office of Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on August 1. Source: ICAO

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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